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Gigabit Broadband Coming to Rural Strathspey in Scotland, Hopefully

Wednesday, October 21st, 2020 (9:44 am) - Score 912
Strathspey_gigabit_broadband_map_scotland

A new demand-led project is being established by consultancy firm Destination Digital that aims to deploy a gigabit-capable broadband network across the Strathspey is the area in Scotland (Highlands), which would stretch from Aviemore in the west to Aberlour in the east.

At present many locals in the area often suffer from slow broadband speeds, although the remoteness of the area would make it expensive to upgrade. Nevertheless, we note that the central community of Grantown-on-Spey, which would act as the hub for any future deployment, is already quite well covered by Openreach’s “superfastFibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology.

Assuming the project did proceed then the plan appears to be to cover Grantown, Advie, Boat of Garten, Carrbridge, Cromdale, Dava, Glenlivet, Nethy Bridge and Tomintoul. Several of those communities also benefit from reasonable FTTC coverage, but this rarely extends to outlying properties.

The Strathspey Herald reports that the first step will see a community registration site setup, which is giving residents and businesses the opportunity to express their interest in ultra-fast broadband; this will remain open for three months.

John Halliday, The Grantown Society, said:

“We are absolutely thrilled that Destination Digital are progressing with their exciting plans for Grantown and Strathspey.

We have worked with their team for almost three years on plans for digital support. It has been a long time coming, but we can see the considerable opportunities their service will offer to homes and businesses across Strathspey.

We very much hope everyone takes the opportunity to register for gigabit-capable broadband via the project’s portal. The service will only be able to help those who do – so we urge all to share this information with local friends and family so no one misses out.”

At present there’s no clear indication of how much funding will be available or what kind of broadband technology will be used to deliver the service. The only thing that Destination Digital has confirmed is that they’ll review how much interest has been expressed in the New Year before proceeding.

One possible catch to all this is that we don’t yet know whether or not the area will be included in Openreach’s LOT1 contract under Scotland’s £579m R100 project (here). The “full fibre” (FTTP) centric rollout plan for that is still being finalised following a long delay, but we expect to get a better idea of what it will achieve by the end of this year or early 2021.

However, R100 will focus on those areas that have yet to benefit from 30Mbps+ speeds, which may rule out some of the better connected FTTC locations in the Strathspey area.

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