We are of course very pleased to be selected as a finalist for the 2020 Scottish Rural Awards, in the entirely unsurprising category of: Best Countryside Digital Innovator. This is further recognition, if any were needed, of the commitment and determination of our local community to bring our area to the global forefront of digital connectivity.
The awards are announced at the beginning of April 2020, so we’ll just have to live with the suspense until then.
It’s astonishing what can be achieved when a community pulls together! (sorry…). With today’s goals being to lay 3km of 96- fibre-in-duct backbone from Dhanakosa to Monachyle Beag on the Northern Loop and to lay 800m of ducting to connect the Southern Loop from Tuarach to Monachyle Mhor, we put out the call. And our community responded: no less than thirty people turned out to form a human tugging and pulling chain over some seriously rough and muddy terrain. Continue reading The Big Pull→
Anyone remember the EU? Just the world’s most powerful trading and cultural bloc, and the entity that’s done more for Scottish rural regeneration than Westminster managed in centuries? Yes, that one. Anyway, given that we’ve had a useful amount of EU funding (via LEADER) for our project, they sent a film crew along to make a couple of documentaries about us, where we’ve got to and where we’re going in future. It’s now live on the EU’s YouTube channel and (small fanfare) here it is…
This is what happens when you’ve had your house ready to be connected for a couple of months but you’re still waiting for the splicers to turn up: poetry. This from our very patient local resident rhymer, Penny:
If only I could splice a fibre,
I'd become a web subscriber,
Reach out to the world at a guaranteed speed
And from frustration forever be freed.
E'en 4G could become cognoscible,
But THAT, I think is a dream impossible ...
With the work to install our core network across the glen well under way, it’s finally time to ‘officially’ launch our network to the world at large. So here’s our press release announcing the fact, coinciding with a small ceremony that took place today, in the presence of those who’ve supported us practically and politically, and those who can learn from the example that we and other communities have set.
For anyone who hasn’t seen the email notes that were sent around at the beginning of the month (or who has since forgotten!), there’s a public meeting in Balquhidder Village Hall tomorrow, March 18th, between 2-4pm.
This is an opportunity, ahead of our ‘public’ launch, to being yourself up to date with progress and to have any questions you might have answered, so feel free to come and ask us anything (about the broadband, that is).
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→
Here we go, and all that: our first speed test from the WiFi hotpoint that’s now been set up at the cabinet. Eleven years, Eleven years of blood, sweat and toil, enlivened by the occasional broadside at BT, the Scottish and British governments and their agencies. Now we’re just waiting for the splicer to turn up and splice the, ah, mainbrace and we’ll have the first houses connected: at the moment, fibres are dangling tantalisingly down the interior wall. Continue reading Not Quite Believing It Department…→
After a longish stretch of fine, dry and bright weather, it was entirely predictable that the day for the blowing of the first fibre in our network would see the weather revert to type, dark and soggy was the order of the day – the Scots word “dreich” covers it beautifully. Continue reading Fibre: Reel to Real→
I’m pleased to be able to say that the network build is now happening faster than we can keep the web site updated! Which is definitely a nice problem to have.
So, whilst we’ve had a couple of hiccups, the team’s enthusiasm including a spirited attempt to beat the land speed record for ploughing in the dark (the mole plough has now been welded back together), very good progress is being made and is accelerating, thanks to a committed and ever-expanding (it’s the bacon butties!) volunteer dig team: Continue reading North Side Works→