Scottish village lay their own broadband network
Apr 27th 2017, 10:08 by Charlotte Whyatt
Residents of the remote Scottish village of Balquiddher have decided to lay their own fibre broadband network after multiple campaign attempts failed to bring in any outside help.
The Balquiddher Community Project, which was set-up back in 2014, has received just enough funding from local businesses and private sponsors to begin the £300,000 roll-out which will provide 200 home and businesses with an ultrafast internet connection.
Volunteers have decided to split the village up into several small sections and work on just one at time so they’re able to receive funding as they go to help toward connecting up the next sector.
Internet access in the village has long been of a very poor quality. Most residents have been forced to erect costly satellite dishes in order to receive just a 2 or 4Mbps connection, which is rendered very unstable due to the region’s stormy weather and dense vegetation that can’t be removed due to Balquiddher’s status as a National Park.
One of the project leader’s Richard Harris described how the poor connection is also having an incredibly detrimental effect on the regions businesses.
"The farmers can't put in their Defra returns, they can't put in their stock movement sheets. Hotels can't get bookings as people physically can't book with them, or people won't book with them because they don't have broadband.”
"Young people are forced to leave and don't come back because there's nothing for them here, because of the lack of connectivity."
Work is expected to begin this summer and be fully completed by the end of 2018.
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