Balquhidder Community Broadband has been named as one of five examples of outstanding rural innovation in Scotland, after winning the Transport and Infrastructure category of the 2018 Scottish Rural Innovators Awards.
Held every two years, the awards are organised and hosted by Scottish Rural Action to highlight excellence in rural innovation in meeting the needs of rural communities. The winning projects will all be showcased at the Scottish Rural Parliament which is being held in Stranraer from 14-16 November.
Along with last week’s Stirling Provost’s Civic award, it’s good that we’re getting at degree of recognition outside the immediate industry for the dozen years of campaigning and hard work that have got us all to where we are now.
Here is Scottish Rural Action’s press release in full…
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→
Once you’ve got yourself connected to our spiffy new fibre network, you’ll probably still have your landline phone number and the BT landline over which it’s delivered to your house. It doesn’t matter who you use to provide your phone service, it still comes in over that ancient BT copper wire, and of course you’re charged line rental and call charges for using it – most of us have been paying £25-30 a month for this.
The good news is that you don’t need to do this any more: you can move your existing number into an online telephone service over our fibre connection, ditch your BT line altogether and thereafter only pay for the calls you make, with no line rental. Oh, and the sound quality is much, much better.
The technology used is called Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP for short.In many cases, you can also continue to use your existing telephones, with the aid of a small adapter.
So this is how to set up VoIP over BCB’s fibre (or indeed, anyone else’s) network.
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…
However, as they’re also changing contract terms at the same time, anyone who is locked into a term contract with BT can cancel without penalty at that point.
So if anyone is not moving to BCB’s service (I mean, it’s only 250-2000x faster than BT’s ‘offering’ around here) because of a BT contract lock-in, September would seem to be the time to make that change.
Our tariff is £35/month for householders, with no extra costs and no limits, for 1,000Mb/s on both upload and download. BT, and any provider (e.g. Sky) using BT’s 19th century local network, is limited to 0-4Mb/s download (and less that 0.5Mb/s upload) hereabouts, on a good day. If the wind’s blowing the wrong way, that could be zero, for days at a time.
And thanks to our friends at B4RN for spotting this before we did.
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 ...
We’ve been a little light on the web updates of late, not least because everyone is out taking advantage of the good weather to dig holes in the ground, install duct, build chambers and (of course) drink tea!
From one unpronounceable place to another – congratulations to Michaelston y Fedw, between Cardiff and Newport, for getting their project together and delivering fibre broadband to their local community: yet another place going where governments and BT won’t, and going far beyond the capabilities of the BT/Openreach monopoly. Nicely done, folks.
With nearly a dozen properties now connected, and the work to reach other sectors of 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.