Locheilnet – A successful community business.

Locheilnet has been providing Broadband to households and businesses in rural Lochaber for almost 10 years and today we have some 500 customers enjoying Superfast connections.

We are a robust and well established community business whose local Directors give their time voluntarily to ensure that our customers continue to get great service.

Our customers are our number one priority – read what they think.

“We absolutely love working with Locheilnet. Getting the osprey net pictures across the loch and then across the world is a massive technical challenge. We wouldn’t be able to do it without Locheilnet’s can-do attitude. This year in particular there have been so few glitches and whenever there was a problem it was dealt with quickly. Our worldwide audience is very aware volunteers are out in all weathers keeping the livestream flowing and the district connected.”

George Anderson
PR & Communications Officer
Woodland Trust

Ospreys in Lochaber

“I was one of the very early users of Locheilnet and following the very poor BT access at that time, it was a revelation to be able to use what the rest of the country take for granted. I have been a user for 7 Years, was part of the Trust Group that granted part of the set up costs and can say it has been great value for money and still is.
The generous donation of free access to the service at the local halls is also of great benefit to the whole community.”

Patricia Kennedy

“I am pleased to say that I have been a user of Locheilnet since its inception. As the then Chair of Ardgour CC we were getting a lot of complaints from residents about the lack of decent broadband provision.
Internet banking was almost impossible due to time outs, watching online streaming was more a case of watching it buffer!

There were many approaches made to other providers but as a rural community the “sums did not stack up” for big business.  When Locheilnet was at the early testing and setting up stage myself and others from the Community were only too happy to help out.  The users in the community are now able to use the internet as other people in towns and cities take for granted.  As Covid has made working from home, were possible, a necessity I don’t know were I, or many others, would be without a decent service.”

Tony Boyd, Ardgour

“As a business we have used Locheilnet for a number of years and they have consistently provided a great and essential service for parts of our business where other providers cannot. At some of our locations they have provided a tailored solution to our requirements.

Any odd occasion when support is required, staff are friendly and deal with issues promptly.

I would not hesitate to recommend Locheilnet.”

Stewart Tonks, ICT Manager
Mowi Scotland Ltd

At Locheilnet we invest profits back into our Broadband network – our Directors work on a voluntary basis to make sure we provide a great service for all our customers.  In 2019 we were given the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Since 2016, thousands of people from all over the world have been enthralled by the family of ospreys at Loch Arkaig.  In a project, led by the Woodland Trust and local raptor expert Lewis Pate, a nest was created in the Arkaig woodland which attracted a young pair of Ospreys who were quickly named Louis and Aila. In four years the pair have raised six chicks whose antics have kept us all glued to our screens.  Helping to beam these live images across the world from one of the most remote locations is a Locheilnet Broadband connection.

At Locheilnet we believe that community is important and we like to help other great community projects and events.  We’ve been pleased to provide temporary Broadband connections to the Fort William Mountain Festival, the Scottish Six Day Motorbike Trials, Nevis Radio and Glenfinnan Games.

Jo Bloggs, Chair of Glenfinnan Games says, “xxxxx”

Our people

Meet our Board, engineers and installers.

Chris Pellow, Manager

Chris worked for 30 years doing technical administrative work, organising events, technical courses and training for various companies, customer service, translation and interpreting for a large international company.

Chris, who founded Locheilnet, is our manager and is surrounded by a team of very skilled and dedicated people.

Jackie Wright, Director and Chair

Jackie has worked in the private and public sectors as a senior manager.

She spent 16 years working in regional development, firstly in the Local Enterprise Company in Lochaber where she was Chief Executive before moving to work as Director of Business Growth & Research at Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Ali Hodnett, Network Operations Manager

Ali has 10 years experience working in outdoor pursuits, specialising in climbing.  He also has a  background in IT and networking. So working for Locheilnet means he can combine his geeky side with his love for the outdoors.

Ali oversees the technical aspects of the network, helps resolve issues and installs and replaces infrastructure.

Andy McKenna, Installer

Andy’s background is printing, publishing, photography, video, websites and IT.  He’s one of our installation team and will most likely be who calls you to arrange your installation. He enjoys seeing happy faces when he connects people to the internet and likes going into the more remote areas of Lochaber.

If your location is exceptional he might ask if he can put his professional drone into the sky for a couple of photos.

Sandy Edmond, Director

Sandy has a wealth of practical experience in many trades skills and thrives on problem solving situations, finding simple ways to get the job done and he lives by the motto that a problem is merely a peg upon which to hang a solution.  Sandy is responsible for health & safety within Locheilnet.

A self-confessed technophobe he willingly leaves all the technical issues to be dealt with by the rest of the team.

He has been involved in many local Community Groups and Community Councils.

Jim Smith, Director, Network Engineer

Jim is an IT professional with over 25 years experience. He has spent the last 12 years with a large multinational enterprise where he is currently the global unified communications services manager responsible for delivering collaboration technologies to 70,000 employees in over 80 countries.

Jim manages the Locheilnet network and IT related matters.

Andy Rogers, Director

Andy came to Lochaber over 30 years ago to work in the paper mill.  For the last 17 years Andy has been with the BSW sawmill and was a key member of the team that built the new sawmill on the old paper mill site.  Andy lives on a croft in Banavie where he and Marian run a small fruit and vegetable business in addition to rearing pigs and bees.  In the few moments of remaining spare time, Andy enjoys strapping a couple of planks to his feet to ski, cycling around the trails of the local forests and wandering up the occasional hill.

Viv MacDonald, Director and Vice-Chair

Viv’s background is in business development and training. Locheilnet offers her a chance to get in-touch with her geekier side and she can be heard regularly talking tech on Nevis FM