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Fibre soon for Appin Community BroadbandAppin Broadband: Latest News

Update December 2016

Appin: Progress continues with fibre broadband in Appin, where BT's current plan is for some PA38 postcodes to be live by February 2017. These postcodes include 4DE, 4DG, 4DR and 4DQ, except Glaceriska, and 4BN if you are connected to the Duror exchange. You can check your own exact address on the internet at the website www.homeandwork.openreach.co.uk and click on 'When can I get fibre'.

BT plans are in development for 4BL, 4BN, 4BB, 4DD, and some of 4BA. No plans appear to exist for 4BJ, 4BQ, most of 4BA, or Glaceriska. Many homes in these latter PA38 postcodes have now resorted to a satellite solution. If you haven't already done so, and your current BT service is worse than 2MB per second download speed, you can get a grant of up to £350 towards the cost by going to the website www.basicbroadbandchecker.culture.gov.uk. Rest assured that community efforts are still being made to gain a proper solution for these areas.

Source of Info: Bob Cornish

Update July 2016

The good news for Appin is that it is confirmed officially - fibre broadband is planned by BT for Appin, and you should be able to see this at the following website: http://www.hie.co.uk/regional-information/digital-highlands-and-islands/can-i-get-it.html#

Of course there will remain some properties which will not benefit from this development. As the wireless broadband system is rolled-out for Lismore, it is likely some of these will also be covered, especially in the North Shian area. There still remains uncertainty for the PA38 4BJ and 4BQ postcode areas. In the meantime, satellite is being used by more people as these services improve.

The roll-out of the wireless broadband system for Lismore continues, but is behind the original schedule. This is caused by the slower than anticipated progress on acquiring affordable sites for radio masts.

Update December 2015

The GigaPlus project for Lismore is proceeding to plan. Survey work will shortly begin on the Island to establish the optimum places to site the transmission equipment and repeaters. In the intest of supporting their community, landowners will then be invited to kindly host equipment, subject to a suitable lease agreement. More details from Julian Wormleighton on Lismore.

BT hoped to have plans for Appin firmed up by August 2015. This has been delayed and it is still not complete. The reasons are not fully clear. There appear to be general delays in the fibre roll-out, eg. Benderloch was due at the end of 2015 and is just about to go live, and also there have been some changes in strategy following changes (increases) in funding available.

The best available information for Appin is that Phase 1 will be three fibre cabinets proposed for locations: Port Appin, Appin and Achosrigan. The timing is now less clear, but optimistically may be by the end of 2016. This may still change as BT finalise the plan. It is hoped to have more firm information for the next Appin Community Council Meeting (14 January 2016). Update by Bob Cornish

Update June 2015

Progress is steady with BT fibre for Appin, and the GigaPlus Argyll wireless system for Lismore.

Appin - BT and HIE have re-confirmed all the Argyll postcodes, though some areas and properties will undoubtedly be too remote. As the GigaPlus wireless system for the islands is developed, this is likely to also be the best option for serving these Appin properties too. (For the avoidance of doubt, subscribers who will use GigaPlus will still be able to retain any existing BT services, and use the internet and email as they do now, but faster.)

Lismore - GigaPlus Argyll held a public consultation through the Community Council in April. This was well attended with residents asking searching questions. A high proportion of residents have now expressed interest through the GigaPlus Argyll website in order to receive routine progress updates. Appointment of the preferred contractor is still on track for early September. Julian Wormleighton kindly volunteered to be the on-island contact and co-ordinator from now on.

If you have any questions you are welcome to contact either Julian Wormleighton or Bob Cornish.

Update Feb. 2015

Bob Cornish introduced Stuart Robertson, Director of Digital, HIE and Campbell Cameron, Advisor to Community Broadband Scotland (CBS) who made presentations on Superfast Broadband for Appin at the Appin Community Council meeting held on 22 January 2015. 28 members of the Appin community attended the meeting. Key points are:

The plan for fibre based broadband has been changed in Appin’s favour. Major parts of Appin will be in BT’s Next Generation Broadband Plan for Argyll & Bute. Solutions are being explored for the parts not included. Fibre will be available in Appin by mid 2016, when installation of the fibre-to-the-cabinet network can then be installed. This is being made available by extending the fibre access cable from Oban further than was originally planned. During 2015, BT/HIE will work up a detailed plan of where the cabinets which provide the service will be located and which properties will be serviced. More background info at www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/superfast-broadband

CBS works with communities not covered by BT’s Next Generation Broadband Plan by providing a support mechanism to help find alternative solutions. The GigaPlus Argyll programme is an example of a wireless solution which could be rolled out to other communities. This wireless network is already planned to provide coverage on Lismore. Up to 89% of the funding for community projects will be available from CBS, though the communities do need to take responsibility for seeking the remainder. CBS provide support to communities to develop a plan and prepare a business case. More background on CBS at www.communitybroadbandscotland.org.

HIE and CBS will provide an update to an Appin Community Council meeting at the end of 2015.

Update Jan. 2015

All Appin residents are advised of a special meeting item at the next Community Council meeting on 22 January, 7.30pm, Appin Hall, and, as always, are invited to attend.

This is an opportunity to learn about and influence plans for Appin. This meeting item about Superfast Broadband will include:

  • Highlands & Islands Enterprise, who will present how they are directing the BT Openreach project to install Superfast Broadband in Argyll.
  • Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Community Broadband Scotland, who will outline their plan for areas not included in future BT plans.

This is a direct and informed response to the Broadband Survey which was completed by many Appin residents last year.

Update June 2014

There are significant high level meetings taking place over the next 2 months between the Scottish Government & BT and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) & BT. The Appin & Lismore broadband report has been submitted to heads at BT and to Scottish Government (latter via Mike Russell). Bob expects to receive feedback in due course via HIE and Community Broadband Scotland. Bob Cornish has attended meetings of the Argyll & Island project group and is monitoring correspondence. Bob reported that progress is slow as groups apply for funding. Appin households not included in the BT Plan form Phase 3 of this group’s work.

Update April 2014

The report on Appin/Lismore’s broadband was completed and submitted to Community Broadband Scotland (CBS) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Further to a meeting with HIE where the Broadband Project report was reviewed, HIE confirmed it would re-visit the BT fibre optic broadband plan with BT. HIE and CBS have subsequently confirmed that BT will include Appin in the Plan by extending the planned fibre optic cabling north from Barcaldine and south from Duror. However, not all Appin households will be included – postcodes included in the BT Plan will be confirmed by the end of 2014 once BT has carried out a technical survey.

CBS has set up an Argyll & Island project group to address the issues of the postcodes not included in the BT Plan. Bob Cornish is on this committee. The project has three phases:

  • Phase 1 is Mull & Colonsay – the contract is currently out to tender.
  • Phase 2 is Luing, Lismore, Jura, Craignish and Islay – a scoping report is currently being undertaken (Lismore already completed in Bob’s original report)
  • Phase 3 is the Appin households not included in the BT Plan - postcodes in this phase will be known by the end of 2014. Bob confirmed that CBS have already approved this Phase 3 and funding is in place.

Update January 2014

The Appin and Lismore broadband project has been underway for the past six weeks. A questionnaire was sent to all houses in the district and information received has been very useful. There are 300 postal addresses in Appin, 286 telephone lines at the Appin exchange and 215 internet/broadband subscribers. 100 completed forms have been returned. They were asked to enlarge the project and include Lismore (60 properties) so the closing date for forms was extended to the end of January. Appin/Lismore will not be part of the BT rollout of fibre optic broadband which will come as far as Duror in the north and Barcaldine in the south. Funding for the project is available through Community Broadband Scotland and the project has been registered with them. The proposal paperwork to go to Community Broadband Scotland by mid February. A small local committee, headed by Bob Cornish, has been formed with the Community Trust being the financial body. Along with the Broadband proposal the project/group are also to look ways of improving mobile phone coverage as currently 39% of the community have no mobile phone coverage.

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