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Wireless to provide superfast broadband for part of East Lothian
Monday 20 July 2015 12:59:02 by Andrew Ferguson

Another not-for-profit company has been set-up and this time its aim is to bring superfast wireless broadband to some 250 premises around the Humbie and Fala areas of East Lothian and Midlothian.

The project has just signed an agreement with Lothian Broadband who will provide the actual service, though their website is a bit sparse on things like cost and speeds of packages but does have the news on the confirmed project. The fixed wireless network is expected to go live this Autumn and is the result of a £152,000 grant from Community Broadband Scotland (CBS).

The funding from CBS means this is part of the Digital Scotland programme and will add to the goal of 95% coverage by 2017. Though given this is just 18 months away we suspect that the words should be 'by the end of 2017' as Scotland is a full 20 percentage points short of that goal if they mean superfast speeds but based on our previous reading of actual Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband project documents, they usually mean 95% fibre based a target which they are just 15% short of. So while there is still this on-going confusion on goals, people can celebrate some more money not going towards BT.

"We have worked very closely with the local community who have a highly motivated group of volunteers. Their commitment and dedication will see this access to faster, more reliable broadband become a reality. With previous broadband speeds of less than 2Mbps, the new network has the potential to transform how the local community live, work and learn. The project also paves the way for further work locally, and CBS is liaising with East Lothian Council to look at broadband options for those in harder to reach areas."

Bob Murison, CBS advisor

We have looked at the information we hold for the area and the Humbie exchange which serves a large chunk of the likely wireless footprint is purely an IPStream Max exchange, with speed tests results showing a range of speeds from 6.5 Mbps (Humbie) down to less than 1 Mbps (Fala) depending on the distance from the exchange.


Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
I think, in political speak, "by 2017" should always be interpreted as "by the end of 2017".
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago

I assume that the if it is actually approaching 30 months, the limiting factor will be the time taken to get power and back-haul to the wireless nodes. Although if I look at the map, it's not a wildly remote area.
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
Sorry - I was speaking rather generically there, as a response to the point in the middle of para 3, not with reference to this particular wireless mini-project or its timescales.

The Humbie project seems to be going live in the Autumn of 2015.
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
OK. That makes much more sense. Wireless is meant to be fast.
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
To roll out that is.
Posted by gah789 about 1 year ago
This, and similar projects funded by Community Broadband Scotland, explicitly don't contribute to the 95% fibre-based Digital Scotland target. They focus on providing better - but not superfast - broadband service in exchanges & areas that are not expected to be covered by Phase 1 of the Scottish BT program. In most cases, mobile coverage is poor and may be no more than 2G.
Posted by chilting about 1 year ago
I find the assumption by most people that fixed wireless is a poorer option than fixed line broadband in rural areas deeply irritating.
How can it possibly be better to spend millions of pounds ducting fibre to remote corners of the country than simply erecting masts and antenna in a far quicker time frame at a fraction of the cost.
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
Presumably because erecting masts and antenna isn't a complete solution. They need backhaul too.

And if no-one at all had fixed-line broadband, there'd be a gargantuan demand to share the wireless bandwidth off those masts. The solution to massive demand is a massive number of masts.

Result: you need to spend millions putting masts up in remote corners of the country, and then ducting fibre to them all.
Posted by smokeping4 about 1 year ago
Its really a bunch of OAP's with tiem on their hands, to put up a few wireless AP's, and then distribute the signal to those who want it. Not exactly rocket science. As a few posters have said, the local connectivity is not the problem, decent AP's are dirt cheap these days, its the back-haul that costs.
Sonner the politico's realise this , the better.
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