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Scottish Wireless Build 1Gbps FTTP Broadband to Loch Lomond

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020 (9:30 am) - Score 1,367
People  on the motor boat at the Loch Lomond lake in Scotland

Businesses, visitors and residents in part of Scotland’s remote rural Loch Lomond National Park area may in the future be able to benefit from a new 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network, which is being supported by a Glasgow-based UK ISP and telecoms consultancy firm called Scottish Wireless.

The new network appears to have resulted from a deal to initially bring a new fibre optic connection to Strathclyde University‘s nearby Ross Priory campus in Gartocharn, Loch Lomond. The first phase of this has already been completed (taking 40 days) and involved the digging of a new 2.3km long fibre link, but that was only the start.

The second phase will see the new Strathclyde University service being extended to “everyone living in, and visiting the Loch Lomond National Park area,” although we get the impression below that this may require lots of community projects to engage (i.e. more of a long-term aspiration than a solid roll-out plan).

In keeping with that we couldn’t find any mention of residential broadband packages on the Scottish Wireless website or a clear roll-out plan and time-scale for the area. Nevertheless if the ambition can be achieved then it could potentially unlock a multitude of economic and social benefits for the area.

Peter Nevans, MD of Scottish Wireless, said:

“There’s really no reason why rural areas can’t have the same fibre internet provision as their town and city counterparts, not when you consider the technology and human skill sets available today.

Before we put in the fibre cable at Gartocharn, internet access there was incredibly poor. Now it’s about to get as good as you’ll get anywhere.

This project will provide rural communities with a toolkit to allow them to create networks of connectivity for cooperatives of consumers, local enterprise, councils and other stakeholders.

Over the years, rural areas have always been the last to be provided with mobile or broadband connectivity. They are remote, which makes it more difficult and more expensive, so the business case doesn’t always stack up for the network providers. Part of what we want to do is to turn that around, so that we’re making a special effort to roll-out connectivity solutions to rural areas in a first phase of adoption.”

We should point out that Scottish Wireless aren’t the only fibre builder to play in this area. The better known Balquhidder Community Broadband (CIC) project, which is support by local ISP Bogons and the Stirling Council, have already deployed some gigabit FTTP around the Loch Doine and Loch Voil areas further to the north (here).

Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. Avatar ISP Worker says:

    I usually have a lot of respect for articles posted on this site, but that headline is very misleading……..

    From reading between the lines it seems all that has been delivered thus far is essentially a leased line to the Strathclyde campus? If that’s what amounts to building a 1Gbps FTTP broadband network these days then we have built several across the UK.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      In fairness the article does very clearly point out our concerns with missing details from the official press release (paras 3 and 4 are both dedicated to that), such with respect to the roll-out plan and how the deployment strategy will actually work. I see other media reporting on the same release and they’ve not even mentioned it.

  2. Avatar Jonathan says:

    Hum, missed that one. I shall have to ask the networking team what is going on. Ross Priory had pants internet connectivity up till now (sub 10mbps last time I asked), which is unusual for a University building. I would hazard a guess as it being dark fibre back to the Curran building. It’s not like we don’t know how to do this stuff ourselves.

    I would also point out that Ross Priory is on the southern shore of Loch Lomond which is really rather big, like 22 miles long. As such I am not sure I would describe Balquhidder as being in the vicinity. Think how far 22 miles gets you from the centre of London and then say ask yourself are you in the vicinity of central London?

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Fair point there :).

    2. Avatar brandon says:

      We’ve laid 44+km just round Balquhidder, no escaping the amount of effort covering these areas which is why nobody has.

  3. Avatar Jonathan says:

    And a reliable birdy tells me at the moment there’s a fibre that goes almost to the house but can’t be terminated, nor can the other necessary works be done, for You Know Why reasons. So somewhat premature.

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