Community Broadband Scheme | Stratherrick & Foyers Community Trust
Community Broadband Scheme

 

Latest update - 16th September 2021

Much work has been going on behind the scenes on the back of the release of further information on the rollout of R-100 (this information is in the public domain).  We will share this information, along with what impact it has on our community, in the forthcoming Stratherrick & Foyers News magazine.  Feel free to contact Chris if you have any further questions.

 

Latest Update -26th March 2021

Dunmaglass Mast News 
The recent release of the lease from the solicitors it is a big step forward and should be the focus of the broadband project to show the community that the expansion is still in the pipeline, and both SFCT and CFWN are pushing hard to get things completed.

 

Latest Update – 11th January 2021

SFCT and CFWN have been working hard to improve the network for the Strath.  New base-stations have been erected at Dalcragg and Upper-Knockchoilum with additions to the mast at Wester Drummond which all went live in December.  People in the area may have been experiencing some slowing of speeds before the improvements due to the strain on the single link from Gorthleck but the new masts will take the pressure off, help future proof the network and will open up the connection for more customers.  Additionally, the new mast at Dalcragg has made it possible to get the Wildside Centre connected which makes it possible to accommodate a larger variety of activities and groups.  Unfortunately, the work for the new mast at Dumnaglass has stalled due to a delay in resolving outstanding legal issues. Therefore, the new network at the North of the Strath has been delayed and thus subsequently delaying the outlined projects to get Errogie, Torness, Inverfarigaig, and Lower Foyers connected to the community broadband.  SFCT and CFWN are constantly working together to improve the community broadband and during lockdown are still working in the background to keep things running.
Our continued goal is to provide super-fast broadband to all areas of the community, and if this pandemic is resolved soon, we hope to get out and get you connected!

 

Update – 8 March 2020

1.1. Customer Connections

As at 8 March 2020 there are 56 customer connections.

1.2. Expansion & Upgrade South (Corriegarth Estate & Wildside)

Following the expansion of the network to include base-stations at the Corriegarth Estate & Bailebeag completed in late December 2019, a further 7 customers have been connected all of which benefited from the BDUK voucher scheme.

1.3. Expansion North (Dunmaglass, Torness & Inverfarigaig)

Expansion of the network north has been delayed while the necessary documentation is put in place with landowners to allow civil works can commence.  The structures and equipment has been purchased and configured ready for deployment.

2. Service Provision

2.1. Major Outages

Over the last two-month period the broadband service provision has been consistent with no significant outages.

2.2. Service Disruption

The extreme weather did impact on the major wireless link between Gorthleck and Wester Drummond which did reduce the level of service provision at peak times.  However, once this was identified, CFWN engineers were dispatched on site to realign the equipment antenna and resolve the issue.

2.3 Severe Weather Conditions

The serve weather conditions over February did impact on the expansion of the network south due to the need for a reallocation of resources to perform emergency maintenance across the network.  This expansion will however now be resumed.

 

About Cromarty Firth Wireless Networks Ltd

CFWN started because founder (Mike Hicks) was fed up at the non-existent broadband at his home on the Black Isle.  He engineered his own solution, which involved a high speed radio link across the Cromarty Firth.  Within weeks neighbours were clamouring to have the same solution and so an engineering exercise turned into a business, we currently have hundreds of links in the Highlands all based on high speed radio broadband.  Although we have grown dramatically around the Cromarty Firth, we are now looking at other areas in the Highlands, especially those which are poorly served by the BT Openreach network.

We are one of the fastest growing internet providers in Scotland currently employing 10 people.

Cost of installation is subject to survey however a standard installation with the BDUK scheme is £10 or £40 with an upgraded AirCube AC router. On-going costs for the service are £32.40/month.

We offer one simple service which is an average of 30Mbps+ with customer connections limited to 50Mbps

Line rental is not required on our service so customers can significantly reduce their household bills by either doing away with it completely or switching over to CFWN’s own  service which is £5/month plus call charges.

About Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme UK

Digital Scotland administers the UK Government’s Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme in Scotland. Its aim to ensure that the remaining 5% of homes and business not covered by the current DSSB programme.

Individuals can apply if:

Your home or business can’t currently access a broadband download speed of at least 2Mbps

There are no affordable alternatives that provide at least 2Mbps download speeds

There are no plans to bring Superfast Broadband to your location within 6 to 12 months of your application.

You must be the owner or occupier of the address you give on the application form.

Project Timeline

Nov 20 Dalcragg and Upper-Knockchoilum masts erected Mar 20 56 Customer Connections made Aug 18 Phase 2 Funding approved Nov 17 Phase 1 infrastructure complete Jul 17 Broadband Afternoon Meeting Jun 17 First Base Station goes live
Project Team
Christopher Gehrke
Join the Team!Email: chrisg-dir@sfctrust.org.uk
What is happening with the Community Broadband scheme?

Following the recent announcement from Opernreach about R-100 in our area, we are publishing an update in this month's magazine, which is due out later this month.

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