Category Archives: Local

Background, possibilities and current state of local broadband provision for the Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre area.

Wayleaves

There has been a little confusion about the notion and need for wayleaves – the written consent BCB needs in order to run its network across anyone’s land.

These exist entirely for everyone’s mutual protection, and to ensure that we have an agreed route across each piece of land, before we start to lay the network. To be fair and consistent, we use a single, standard wayleave document for everyone. Continue reading Wayleaves

New Year, Still Digging

What better way could there be to burn off the indolent excesses of Christmas and Hogmanay than head up the hill and help dig in the next leg of our network? Well, I can think of a few, but at least here we can go home with a warm glow of community participation, our innards warmed by Andrea’s excellent soup, even if our feet are freezing. Continue reading New Year, Still Digging

Digging Stronvar

Having finally got the health, safety and insurance bureaucracy out of the way, we’ve been able to get properly stuck in with the network dig. Now, there are a couple of ways of going about this: from picking the smallest, least disturbing tools possible and proceeding in a sensitive and non-disruptive manner, to throwing the biggest damn digger you can find at the job, on the principle that it won’t find anything it can’t handle. So guess which we went with?

Continue reading Digging Stronvar

What’s it Worth?

Amid all the frustrations of trying to follow a public funding process that is clearly being made up by the relevant bodies as they go along, we’ve actually been able to get on with some real work towards the project. We’ve got a model that demonstrates the build cost (we can deliver a 1000+ MB/s network for less than the government’s per premise ‘value’ figure of £3,400 for a 10Mb/s service)  and another that shows that the service is sustainable and financially viable. So far, so good.

Continue reading What’s it Worth?

At Last: Our First Public Meeting

On Friday 20th November we held  the first public meeting for Balquhidder Community Broadband: we’ve been working away these past months to get costs, tenders and demand sorted out and now have at least the first steps towards effective, community-driven broadband for our area. And not before time. For any who missed the occasion, a video version of the presentation is on youtube:

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Showing that we’re a long, thin community. But we knew that.
Taking names…
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Moving Targets…

Like many other rural Scottish communities, our problem is geography: having a fairly small but highly dispersed population strung out along the loch sides and side glens. Our core funding from Community Broadband Scotland will cover the capital expenditure and setup for our external connection and at least the bulk of our costs for our backbone within the glen, which is great. However, connecting the outlying clusters of properties (most of them farms) might be pushing the limits of available funding.

Continue reading Moving Targets…