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Scottish Government to spend £3.3m for extending broadband coverage
Friday 06 February 2009 05:44:29 by Sebastien Lahtinen

The Scottish Government has this morning announced that its £3.3 million project to extend the reach of broadband services in Scotland is beginning to demonstrate its benefits. John Swinney, Finance Secretary of the Scottish Government, will be visiting Ardgualich Farm today to see how broadband has changed how the business operates by being able to take electronic bookings.

"Broadband has fast become an essential tool for companies the length and breadth of Scotland. By upgrading our broadband infrastructure, we are helping companies - including those in rural areas - gain a competitive advantage at a time when they need it most."

John Swinney (Finance Secretary), Scottish Government

Around 4,000 households and businesses registered as needing help to get broadband because they were too far from an enabled telephone exchange. A contract worth £3.3m was awarded to Avanti Caledonian Broadband Ltd. to provide affordable broadband services.

"We are very pleased to be working with the Scottish Government on the Scotland Broadband Reach project. Today Avanti is providing broadband via satellite across Scotland; already delivering the commitment made in Lord Carter's Digital Britain report. This contract with the Scottish Government will mean that every business and home in Scotland can now achieve the goal of universal broadband, thus supporting children's education and the development of Scottish businesses three years ahead of the Digital Britain deadline."

David Williams (CEO), Avanti Communications

In our regional broadband speed research, we found Scottish broadband speeds averaged 3.2 meg, which is propped up by the fast speeds in the major Scottish cities.

Comments

Posted by lep17 over 8 years ago
Yes its great that everyone can get this but it's still not proper BB . Sat BB you still have the latency issues .
I am from N.Ireland and have Sat BB with BT which is now going to be provided from Avanti aswell but i would still perfer fixed line. Maybe some day :) .
Posted by lep17 over 8 years ago
Yes its great that everyone can get this but it's still not proper BB . Sat BB you still have the latency issues .
I am from N.Ireland and have Sat BB with BT which is now going to be provided from Avanti aswell but i would still perfer fixed line. Maybe some day :) .
Posted by lep17 over 8 years ago
Yes its great that everyone can get this but it's still not proper BB . Sat BB you still have the latency issues .
I am from N.Ireland and have Sat BB with BT which is now going to be provided from Avanti aswell but i would still perfer fixed line. Maybe some day :) .
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
yep and someday they may even have *proper forum* for all this stuff, not this cranky comments' ...:/

- you login, do your stuff.. it does not show the post, so you refresh the page, and it just re-submits the post *again* ...
Posted by mike4ql over 8 years ago
This is merely a political solution allowing the Scottish Government to tick the box on BB provision. The latency means it cannot be used for VoIP or remote working, serious omissions for a rural business. In addition Avanti's T&C prohibit connecting a server (e.g. SBS). So how is this a business solution?
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
VoIP ? there's a USO for the good old telephone so stick to that. Most appropriate tool for the job. Servers are best kept in data centres not in farmhouses on the end of retail connectivity.

This is a classic Gordon Brown re-announcement, they announced the intention to spend now they announce they are spending it - what next, that they have spent it ?
Posted by lep17 over 8 years ago
Plus the prices for Sat BB is far more expensive than Fixed line £25 a month for 512 were as some fixed line packages you can get a max product for £9.99 a month so how is this a fair enviroment for us rural people .
Posted by _TRIaXOR_ over 8 years ago
"title" Scottish Government to spend £3.3m for extending broadband coverage"
@herdwick
Whats this got to do with Gordon Brown? this is a Scottish Gov issue not a UK one..
Posted by Spectre_01 over 8 years ago
Yes its great that everyone can get this but it's still not proper BB . Sat BB you still have the latency issues .
I am from N.Ireland and have Sat BB with BT which is now going to be provided from Avanti aswell but i would still perfer fixed line. Maybe some day :) .
Posted by 21again over 8 years ago
Broadband in any rural location is an issue due to the distances to the few exchanges that exist compared to 40 years ago, many areas in the Highlands can only get a decent TV reception thanks originally to SKY sat. whether payed for or using the free Sky Sat.option.
I must admit I don't know how I manage to get a 2Meg connection considering the cable is running for a few miles on the sea bed as well as through heavily wooded areas with most of the BT line strung up between poles.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
'due to the distances to the few exchanges that exist compared to 40 years ago,'

Which rural exchanges have closed in the last 40 years?

What's the connection with TV reception?
Posted by mike4ql over 8 years ago
herdwick, you are as bad as they are.
I am NOT talking about a public server for your website but ANY server including the one managing your local domain.
And, yes, the phone works but the proud claim is that it allows rural businesses access to modern communications and it doesn't quite do that. All it does is making browsing, file downloads and emails a little faster which is fine for a home user but will not allow a modern business to operate where they couldn't before.
Posted by DrewR over 8 years ago
Assuming only a proportion of the sum is going to get to the actual installation costs I would be surprised if this amounts to very many people benefiting, so this could be to help those who truly have no hope of getting broadband by any other means. The announcement does not shed any light on this however and gives little comfort to those of us trying to operate a business at the end of a long line.
Posted by DrewR over 8 years ago
Incidentally, within the last 20 yrs the exchange nearest to us was 1.5 miles away. It was closed down and lines were routed back to the next point which is 6.5 miles away. In the other direction, the nearest exchange (not connected to our lines) was about 3 miles away. This was closed too.
Posted by DrewR over 8 years ago
If the money is not spent on the infrastructure the rural businesses will not be able to maintain what they have, let alone benefit from improvements in technology. It would be very interesting to poll the numbers of people who are working with connections which are either parlous or incapable of sustaining speeds around or above 450 kbps.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
DrewR - interesting, which exchanges were closed?
Posted by Skyewatcher over 8 years ago
Please remember what we had before Avanti came along. 2kb dialup connection over the telephone line, no mobile phone connection so that solution could never work and as mentioned TV through satellite. Sat BB is not cheap, £23.50 is the entry level but it is better than what BT were prepared to offer us, which was nothing. If we had decided to wait for the system to be updated we would still be waiting and waiting for a very long time to come. So until someone makes BT upgrade the telephone system to fibre the only option for many is Sat BB.
Posted by SimoneNelson over 8 years ago
I live/work in a Wester Ross too far for ADSL. Almost half the community are across the loch and can only 'go to work' by crossing the loch or walking 7 miles. By using 'dongles' to access our Small Business Server they can work. Parcels are sent out by a disabled group in Inverness who use ADSL to collected despatch lists. 4QL from Orkney manage the Network; we collaborate with a colleague in Skye all through our current set-up. We then got Avanti Sat BB and this will not work despite our best efforts. Scottish Executive's ‘Broadband Solution’ is NOT really FOR BUSINESS in the Highlands!?
Posted by DrewR over 8 years ago
We had BT Satellite (duplex) and gave up on it. It was poor, unreliable and very very expensive - much more than £23.50. No streaming either. Stopped working when there was snow on the LMB etc etc. Really bad waste of money. Exchanges referred to were Glendevon and the one between Auchterarder and Blackford between the new A9 and old A9.
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