New group needed for broadband roll out

There was an excellent attendance at a meeting with Community Broadband Scotland and DigitalScotland at the AGM of Whithorn and District Business Association on 19th January.

Duncan Nisbet, DigitalScotland, explained the huge business benefits of broadband for the future and the complex process by which the areas of Scotland for which no commercial provision of high speed broadband had been made, including most of Dumfries and Galloway, were covered by the state-aided rollout of broadband provision.

This programme was expected to cover 95% of the area, with the remaining 5% receiving bespoke solutions in hard-to-reach areas.

Alastair Nicolson of Community Broadband Scotland gave case studies from other rural areas where community groups had been formed to work out solutions using various technologies to bring high speed broadband to these areas.

There were numerous questions from a lively audience of members of the Association and non-members, explaining the difficulties they had had, particularly in areas round about Whithorn and the low existing speeds.

There was an opportunity for individuals to speak to the representatives, who took away queries, but it was clear that, as a first step to aid remote areas, a legally constituted group needed to be formed to begin negotiation with Community Broadband Scotland for bespoke solutions in areas not reached by the new fibre provision.