Welcome to the Community Broadband Project page. Each week we intend to give you a regular Thursday update with any news from the team on how projects are progressing. Some weeks there will be lots of activity, others not so much. If you have any questions - or have knowledge and skills you would like to bring to the project please do get in touch with the lead Directors via the button on the right!
Latest update - 20th January 2022
The Project team will be meeting with Cromarty Firth Wireless Network this evening to sign off the next contract stage of the project. Further information on what this means to the community will be available soon.
Latest update - 13th January 2022
Work has been going on behind the scenes with Cromarty Firth Wireless Network with regards to the next stages in this project. We are also pleased to report that the R100 rollout is still scheduled to be complete by October of this year. To find out if you will benefit from this, please visit the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband website by clicking here.
Latest update - 25th November 2021
Attention this week for both staff and Directors of the Trust has been on preparation for the AGM and the launch of the CAP, which you can now read online. If you attended the AGM, you will have heard Chris' update on this project and we will continue to notify you of further progress here on a weekly basis.
Latest update - 4th November 2021
We have been in discussions with Cromarty Firth Wireless Netwrk on the next stage of the Broadband project. We hope to update you on this soon.
Latest update - 21st October 2021
You can access all the latest details about Broadband for the area and your home in the magazine. It is worth a read when the magazine is delivered or you can read it online here
Latest update - 12th October 2021
Now that we have had an update from the Scottish Government on R-100, we have put together a comprehensive article that will appear in the Autumn magazine. We are pleased to say that the magazines will be delivered to each household in the strath, so please read and digest the information carefully. If you have any questions on any of the information, please contact Chris or Tony.
Latest update - 30th September 2021
We are in active discussions with CFWN about what the next steps are in this project in light of the information you will find in the magazine and website soon. Again, if you have any questions, please contact Chris.
Latest update - 16th September 2021
Much work has been going on behind the scenes on the back of the release of further information on the rollout of R-100 (this information is in the public domain). We will share this information, along with what impact it has on our community, in the forthcoming Stratherrick & Foyers News magazine. Feel free to contact Chris if you have any further questions.
Latest Update -26th March 2021
Dunmaglass Mast News
The recent release of the lease from the solicitors it is a big step forward and should be the focus of the broadband project to show the community that the expansion is still in the pipeline, and both SFCT and CFWN are pushing hard to get things completed.
Latest Update – 11th January 2021
SFCT and CFWN have been working hard to improve the network for the Strath. New base-stations have been erected at Dalcragg and Upper-Knockchoilum with additions to the mast at Wester Drummond which all went live in December. People in the area may have been experiencing some slowing of speeds before the improvements due to the strain on the single link from Gorthleck but the new masts will take the pressure off, help future proof the network and will open up the connection for more customers. Additionally, the new mast at Dalcragg has made it possible to get the Wildside Centre connected which makes it possible to accommodate a larger variety of activities and groups. Unfortunately, the work for the new mast at Dumnaglass has stalled due to a delay in resolving outstanding legal issues. Therefore, the new network at the North of the Strath has been delayed and thus subsequently delaying the outlined projects to get Errogie, Torness, Inverfarigaig, and Lower Foyers connected to the community broadband. SFCT and CFWN are constantly working together to improve the community broadband and during lockdown are still working in the background to keep things running.
Our continued goal is to provide super-fast broadband to all areas of the community, and if this pandemic is resolved soon, we hope to get out and get you connected!
Update – 8 March 2020
1.1. Customer Connections
As at 8 March 2020 there are 56 customer connections.
1.2. Expansion & Upgrade South (Corriegarth Estate & Wildside)
Following the expansion of the network to include base-stations at the Corriegarth Estate & Bailebeag completed in late December 2019, a further 7 customers have been connected all of which benefited from the BDUK voucher scheme.
1.3. Expansion North (Dunmaglass, Torness & Inverfarigaig)
Expansion of the network north has been delayed while the necessary documentation is put in place with landowners to allow civil works can commence. The structures and equipment has been purchased and configured ready for deployment.
2. Service Provision
2.1. Major Outages
Over the last two-month period the broadband service provision has been consistent with no significant outages.
2.2. Service Disruption
The extreme weather did impact on the major wireless link between Gorthleck and Wester Drummond which did reduce the level of service provision at peak times. However, once this was identified, CFWN engineers were dispatched on site to realign the equipment antenna and resolve the issue.
2.3 Severe Weather Conditions
The serve weather conditions over February did impact on the expansion of the network south due to the need for a reallocation of resources to perform emergency maintenance across the network. This expansion will however now be resumed.
About Cromarty Firth Wireless Networks Ltd
CFWN started because founder (Mike Hicks) was fed up at the non-existent broadband at his home on the Black Isle. He engineered his own solution, which involved a high speed radio link across the Cromarty Firth. Within weeks neighbours were clamouring to have the same solution and so an engineering exercise turned into a business, we currently have hundreds of links in the Highlands all based on high speed radio broadband. Although we have grown dramatically around the Cromarty Firth, we are now looking at other areas in the Highlands, especially those which are poorly served by the BT Openreach network.
We are one of the fastest growing internet providers in Scotland currently employing 10 people.
Cost of installation is subject to survey however a standard installation with the BDUK scheme is £10 or £40 with an upgraded AirCube AC router. On-going costs for the service are £32.40/month.
We offer one simple service which is an average of 30Mbps+ with customer connections limited to 50Mbps
Line rental is not required on our service so customers can significantly reduce their household bills by either doing away with it completely or switching over to CFWN’s own service which is £5/month plus call charges.
About Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme UK
Digital Scotland administers the UK Government’s Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme in Scotland. Its aim to ensure that the remaining 5% of homes and business not covered by the current DSSB programme.
Individuals can apply if:
Your home or business can’t currently access a broadband download speed of at least 2Mbps
There are no affordable alternatives that provide at least 2Mbps download speeds
There are no plans to bring Superfast Broadband to your location within 6 to 12 months of your application.
You must be the owner or occupier of the address you give on the application form.
- What is happening with the Community Broadband scheme?
Following the recent announcement from Opernreach about R-100 in our area, we are publishing an update in this month's magazine, which is due out later this month.