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30Mbps Wireless Broadband Coming to Tiree – Inner Hebrides of Scotland

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 (2:53 am) - Score 1,238

The remote Inner Hebrides island of Tiree, which sits alongside nearby Coll, has been awarded £80,000 from the Community Broadband Scotland (CBS) programme to help upgrade their local wireless broadband network so that it can offer “superfast” speeds of up to 30Mbps.

The Tiree Broadband ISP is a not-for-profit company that was setup by the Tiree Community Development Trust (Tiree CDT), which is owned and managed by the local community. At present this is a rather unusual and slow Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network because it is supplied by.. wait for it.. multi-feed ADSL backhaul. Poor buggers.

The service, which costs £19.99 per month (plus a £20 one-off charge to install), has been operating successfully since 2005 and now has over 140 subscribers. However BT’s recent subsea work, which linked up several local islands to their fibre optic network, has also resulted in several FTTC (VDSL2) based “fibre broadband” cabinets being installed in locations such as Crossapol, Balephetrish and Pier View in Scarinish.

Sadly the cabinets have a limited reach, but Tiree CDT can also make use of this new connectivity to help supply their fixed wireless network and deliver a much needed capacity boost. As a result the current top speed of 2Mbps could soon reach up to 30Mbps.

Mark Vale, Tiree CDT, said:

“Tiree Community Development Trust is thrilled that we have been able to secure this funding from CBS for our community-owned wireless communications provider CIT Ltd. Improving infrastructure, like broadband, is a vital component in the development of our local economy and in our island’s fight against depopulation. This project will deliver a greatly improved quality of internet services and speeds to 160 households and businesses in our community and enhance the long-term viability of community broadband on Tiree.”

Peter Guthrie, CBS Head of Team, said:

“CBS recognises the dedication and hard work that CIT Ltd has put into their network since 2005 and we’re delighted that we can now help them take the next step towards improved broadband coverage. CBS is committed to supporting rural areas across Scotland access better connectivity and we will continue to work closely with Tiree Broadband as they begin their upgrade work.”

The total project cost will be £91,000, with an £11,000 contribution coming from the Tiree Community Development Trust (Tiree CDT). ISPreview.co.uk understands that the upgrade work will commence in March 2017 and should then take around 4 months to complete.

Tiree also looks set to benefit from upgraded Mobile coverage after EE submitted a planning application to erect a 4G mast near Garaphail, Cornaigmore. In addition, TCDT has been approached by Scottish Futures Trust, who delivered the community 4G mast on Coll, to consider a similar project involving O2 and Vodafone, although the talks are still at a very early stage.

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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.
Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Craski says:

    Poor buggers indeed but looks like things are finally looking up for them.
    I wonder how many ADSL lines they have to provide service their 140 subscribers?

    1. The old connection was a satellite link to the centre of the island with links through the fixed wireless access system.

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