"Locheilnet" started with a small group of individuals living on the shores of Loch Eil, who decided to find alternative ways to obtain at least the same high speed broadband as available in Fort William.
As it will take many years for BT to replace the existing copper wire infrastructure with fiber optic cable, our group has looked into other options and decided to work with Simon Helliwell and Ian Bolas from Rural Broadband Networks (also Hebnet) to realise this idea.
The pilot project was installed in February 2013. The result of the pilot & feasibility study were used to obtain funding for the total project.
In order to provide the potential funders with valuable information, and prove the necessity of a faster broadband network in our area, we created a survey. Click here to see the results.
After receiving substantial funding from the Ardgour Area Fund, Marine Harvest and Foundation Scotland we were able to order the leased line (high speed broadband connection) and start installations. Community Broadband Scotland has topped up the funding allowing us to make our network more resilient and sustainable.
Further funding from SSE and First Port has allowed us to order our second leased line and provide employment for a dedicated IT support engineer and help with admin jobs.
In September 2014 a customer satisfaction survey was sent to all our customers, old and new in order to have a feel for what we needed to improve. Click here to see the results.
2014 has seen the installation of a new mast, the creation of the network meshing, improvents to the core network and further connection of our patiently awaiting customers.
Thunderstorms, multiple power cuts, excessive gales and an 8 month delay in the installation of the second line have seriously hampered our progress but we are a very resilient bunch and are working at full steam.
January 2016 - The network is ready for the roll-out of the various packages.
In 2017 we started upgrading various parts of the core infrastructure with newer devices, we were able to connect Kilmalieu and will be extending our services to the Tulloch area thanks to additional funding from Community Broadband Scotland.