It’s been a while since our last full update, mainly because we’ve been busy, ah, doing stuff. So here’s where we are:
- As of yesterday, our circuit to the outside world is complete, Openreach having previously failed to meet their September Contract Delivery Date (CDD), thereby placing themselves in breach of contract.
- Also as of yesterday, our magnificent, if slightly grubby, digging team has crossed the Llon Dhu and reached the edge of the road en route to the village hall.
- We have appointed a contractor to carry out our public road and bridge crossings and have got Stirling Council to agree to treat all crossings in the glen as a single application (otherwise it would be £500 per crossing for the license). The first batch should be under way by the end of the month, which will enable us to complete the Village Hall/village run, get to Gartnafuran & Gart and reach Ballinluig (Molmeg).
- The ducting for most properties at Stronvar has been completed and the route onward to Muirlaggan and Bealach has been prepared: we’re just waiting for some more ducting to arrive. That’s the route that will take the network to Monachyle and points west.
- The local ducting is installed at Dhanakosa, and Quintin will be extending that to Craigruie. We’ll be putting in a temporary wireless link to get to them and to Tulloch until the land dig reaches them. Our earlier plan to lay fibre underwater has been modified given the now lower cost of land lay cable.
- The fibre at Stronvar was scheduled to have been blown last week, but the blowing gear didn’t turn up: living here, you’ll be entirely unsurprised that non-delivery of equipment and materials has been something of an issue. Although, even by local standards, the shipping of an entire reel of fibre to Balquhidder Farm was a standout. That’s Balquhidder Farm, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa…
- Now that the link is ready, we’ll be putting in a WiFi point at the Stronvar cabinet, alongside the Mhor mobile restaurant, which will give us a local fast connection to try out. And coffee.
- We’ve just advertised the post of Project Officer, to help administer and document the project. That’s funded by Stirling Council and the EU LEADER fund. Advert is here, on the Public Contracts Scotland web site and in The Villagers
- Funding from Stirling Council is coming in, as is that from Bogons, which is getting us a long way in a short time.
- Bogons has managed to negotiate down the cost of fibre and ducting from our original quotes, which makes our money go even further.
- We’re making good progress, but are looking for volunteers to help with dig, administration and planning of each sector as we move forward. Most immediately, that’s for the Gart area, Ballinluig and the village itself.
Finally, on a personal note, pressure of work means that I’ve had to take more of a back seat at the moment, but it’s very satisfying to see the project get to this stage with an active and committed team, after all the trials and tribulations of these last years.