Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

HIE Opens Review of the Community Broadband Scotland Funding Scheme

Thursday, July 27th, 2017 (2:15 pm) - Score 540
scotland broadband map uk project split

The Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has commissioned consultancy firm ekosgen to conduct a review of their Community Broadband Scotland (CBS) initiative, which has been running for five years and provides public investment to help setup new broadband networks in very remote rural areas.

So far CBS has provided funding to help support new broadband connectivity solutions in 14 communities and they’re working on another 15, although the recent problems with wireless ISP AB Internet have shown that such an approach doesn’t always work as intended.

Similarly some community projects have complained about delays with the admin side of things (here), although in fairness CBS has a difficult balancing act to play when assessing risk. Bigger network plans may also attract additional interest and delay from the EU due to State Aid rules.

The review will look at feedback from CBS fuelled networks that have already been deployed across rural Scotland, as well as those that are in the process of seeking future support. It will also examine a range of options for improving the scheme’s future delivery and look at how it might need to change in respect to the Scottish Government‘s new R100 programme.

Zoe Laird, CBS Director, said:

“Every community in Scotland wants fast and reliable broadband, and we want them to be able to get it. That’s the bottom line.

But the challenges can be really daunting. Geography is often a major obstacle. Distance is another. And the technical solution that works best in one location won’t necessarily be the right fit somewhere else.

We have also found it extremely difficult in some cases to engage commercial companies as suppliers who will share our ambition, and be willing to take these projects on.

With five years’ experience, and with further large-scale investment in broadband infrastructure planned by the Scottish Government as part of their Reaching 100% programme, we believe this is the right time to take stock, rigorously examine what’s been achieved, and apply the lessons we can learn to benefit communities across the country.”

Separately the wider £428m Digital Scotland project has already made “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) connectivity available to around 90% of Scotland, although this figure drops to just 73% in the Highlands and Islands region. The programme now aims to ensure that 95% of premises in Scotland are put within reach of a “high speed fibre broadband” network by the end of March 2018, which falls to 86% for the rural Highland and Islands region by the end of 2017 (here).

The Scottish Government’s future R100 programme envisages pushing “superfast broadband” out to reach 100% of homes and businesses by 2021, which is an aspiration that should be supported by the new CBS review. However the Government has yet to set out precisely how the goal of 100% could be achieved and there’s a big question mark over the level of funding.

Meanwhile the CBS review is expected to conclude by the autumn, although it’s not uncommon for reviews like this to cause yet more delays and confusion for projects that are currently seeking public investment. At the same time existing networks will be expected to show that they can deliver on the 30Mbps+ target and to declare their coverage plans. Getting all this detail together by the deadline will be incredibly difficult (such work can take months but the government want it far sooner).

Add to Diigo
Tags: ,
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.
Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. The problem with CBS schemes for some areas is that you need to confirm that you’re not in-scope of any of the existing rollouts first.

    For the exchange I’m on we’re still waiting to find out which properties will be in-scope with one cabinet only just going live (over a year after the build was started) and another proposed cabinet which doesn’t even have a location yet.

    So we’re in the position (over 3 1/2 years after the start of the HIE rollout) of not being able to even start the CBS process…

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £21.00 (*25.00)
    Avg. Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £50 Shopping Voucher
  • TalkTalk £21.95 (*36.00)
    Avg. Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • xln telecom £22.74 (*47.94)
    Avg. Speed 66Mbps, Unlimited (FUP)
    Gift: None
  • Post Office £22.90 (*37.00)
    Avg. Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Direct Save Telecom £22.95 (*29.95)
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. BT (2533)
  2. FTTP (2254)
  3. FTTC (1676)
  4. Building Digital UK (1616)
  5. Politics (1444)
  6. Openreach (1432)
  7. Business (1258)
  8. Statistics (1110)
  9. FTTH (1105)
  10. Mobile Broadband (1056)
  11. Fibre Optic (978)
  12. Ofcom Regulation (922)
  13. 4G (918)
  14. Wireless Internet (917)
  15. Virgin Media (870)
  16. EE (602)
  17. Sky Broadband (600)
  18. TalkTalk (586)
  19. Vodafone (532)
  20. 3G (417)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact