This Site…

This site was launched in 2013, as a resource for those seeking to improve the quality and availability of broadband in rural areas, particularly in rural Scotland. 

It has now become the portal for Balquhidder Community Broadband, the Community Interest Company formed to deliver world-class broadband to the Balquhidder area, after it became painfully obvious that the various half-baked initiatives of the British and Scottish governments were going to both under-deliver and even cause long-term damage, most especially to those areas who were the nominal ‘beneficiaries’ of these projects. 

The site also summarises progress reported from the Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre Community Council and from  Stirling Council’s Broadband Delivery Group. It does not however purport to represent the official views of either organisation.

This site runs on server facilities provided by Two Worlds Consulting Ltd.

3 thoughts on “This Site…”

  1. Hot off the CBS website – in Fife we knew about the delay but were not given a new date – now we know!

    Please note the response date has been extended until the 19th of August for the following Open Market Review and State Aid Public Consultations:

    Balquhidder, Dalguise, Fair Isle, Helmsdale, Kyles of Bute and Laggan State Aid Public Consultation
    Fife State Aid Public Consultation
    B4GAL, Durisdeer & Southern Uplands Partnership Open Market Review

    If you would be interested in joining Scottish Rural Action Broadband Working Group forum please send an email to

    Amanda Burgauer SRA

    At the Rural Parliament in Oban in 2014, certain themes were adopted into the SRA’s Action Plan, broadband being a major item in this.

    Scottish Rural Action, the non-profit that organises the Scottish Rural Parliament, believes that the current programme to deliver superfast broadband to Scotland isn’t working. We want to work with you, the communities across Scotland, to create a compelling case that the Scottish Government can’t ignore.

    We will gather data from projects across Scotland and present evidence to Scottish Government about what’s not working and why. We will lobby for connectivity that’s fit for purpose for everyone in Scotland, regardless of rurality or difficulties with infrastructure. In order to do this, we need you to provide evidence and to lend us your voice, so that we can speak more loudly.

    If you agree, please respond to this message with who you are, which organisation/community you represent and what stage you are at in your quest for better connectivity.

    We will have a strong voice if we all work together.

    1. I’m an ex Openreach engineer and worked on the BDUK subsea fibre project to the western Isles. As well as the National fibre spine network I have extensive experience of the build process. The biggest obstacle is the costs involve for the digging of trenches. The mini mafia type setup in the contracting ranks for Openreach who do the civics work is where they are making massive profits and is keeping the costs of a National fibre infrastructure high. Very high.

      I left the BDUK contract game and I’ve started a WISP operating from Oban. Privately funded and not a penny from public funding. More to show it can be done than make any money. The Back of Beyond Broadband network now aims to create an Argyll wide network with work starting in the next few weeks. Low cost, ultra fast, fixed wireless is possible with the right planning and tools and genuine grit. By building a fixed wireless network quickly and quietly, it allows for low income families to access superfast internet and creates a stepping stone to a full fibre network loop where it’s achievable and affordable. My aim is to have many fibre loops and create an ultra fast, alternative isp with the local development at the centre of the company ethos.

      1. All the best with your network, Stuart, that’s a very laudable approach: a rolling deployment of fixed wireless from wherever a local fibre loop can be established makes complete sense, particularly for a topographically problematic area like Argyll.

        I entirely appreciate your comment about contractors: we benchmarked our project by getting commercial quotes for the dig: depending on location, we were being quoted £120-200/metre for road digs, and not hugely less for off-road. With 32km or so of backbone to go in, that was clearly a non-starter. Both we and B4RN have an installed cost of £5-7/m (including duct and fibre) using volunteer labour. We’re avoiding road digs wherever possible and just using a contractor for unavoidable crossings.

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