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2,000 Isle of Skye Homes to Benefit from Community Broadband Rollout

Thursday, February 11th, 2016 (5:26 pm) - Score 850
Isle of Skye

More than 2,000 homes on the Northern side of the Isle of Skye in Scotland, which will not be reached by BT’s roll-out, could soon benefit from superfast broadband (30Mbps+) services after a local community project secured the necessary public investment from the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Details of the North Skye Broadband project are still a little sparse, although we understand that HIE’s Community Broadband Scotland (CBS) initiative will provide support through the OJEU procurement process with a view to harnessing a capital grant of up to £1,460,000 (max 89% of capital costs) and more will probably come from the community itself.

The new network appears to be aiming towards a “future proof locally managed superfast fibre class broadband service“, although precisely details of what technology will be deployed have not yet been announced and are still somewhat subject to the outcome of their tender process. The related State Aid Consultation doesn’t give much away either.

The company will be a social enterprise, which reinvests any profits back into the communities it serves.

Predictive Timeline for 2016

1. Community engagement rollout February 2016 onwards and ongoing.
2. Selection of preferred supplier Late Spring 2016.
3. Contract Award Summer 2016.
4. Commencement of Superfast Broadband Roll Out Phase one late Summer/Early Autumn 2016.

Within eighteen months of its initial meeting to discuss the lack of access to decent broadband services, the group will have progressed to starting the roll out of the infrastructure required to supply a modern Superfast Broadband system serving North Skye residents during 2017.

It’s worth pointing out that this isn’t the only community broadband project on Skye, with wireless ISP Skyenet also having benefited from public funding in different parts of the island (e.g. Aird, Achnacloich, Tokavaig, Ord and Drumfearn). In fact that network recently announced plans to expand its coverage (here).

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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