I should probably have written down just HOW long it took to get the website uploaded, the blog created, a Facebook page set up, etc.
Those of you who live around the loch will know what I am talking about:
the internet connection is SLOW.. on a good day!
Not to mention the moaning and groaning which goes on when we have to reload a page which timed out just before loading completely Argh.. the daily tribulations.
A little while back I joined Kilmallie Community Council with the aim of finding out how many others had similar issues. I did not believe I was the only one complaining. The resulting responses showed a mixed picture: from people not getting the full 2Mb promised to others not getting broadband at all. A summary of those results was sent to HIE doing a broadband consultation in an attempt to voice our concerns and in the hope to get some useful advice or help.
We looked at what alternatives were available and checked out satellite provision, which we found rather expensive and not feasible for everyone.
In the meantime we learned about the “Tegola” project and “Hebnet” through councillor Allan Henderson. After speaking to Professor Buneman and Simon Helliwell, we got rather excited about the prospects of actually making this work in our neck of the woods and the rest is as we say, history.
A few like minded people got together and end of September “Locheilnet” was founded. A CIC – Community Interest Company – with the aim of providing a high speed broadband to the community members around Loch Eil. We set up the website, printed and distributed leaflets and talked to the people around the loch to get an even better idea of what the present situation was.
We applied for, and were awarded with a grant from the Community Council Discretionary Fund to pay for the feasibility study and pilot project.
In the meantime, we were approached by the Ardgour community who also wanted to improve their broadband speed further. In order not to reinvent the wheel, we have joined forces, extending the network along the West side of Loch Linnhe all the way to Ardgour.
We are working out the details in order to allow for the feasibility study and pilot project to go ahead.
FIRST THING IN THE NEW YEAR:
We will organise a meeting with everyone who is interested in coming along and being part of a “working” committee. We welcome everyone who feels he/she can contribute to pushing the project forward.
The more people joining the project, the cheaper it will become, so please go and spread the word: link to our site, like our Facebook page, share our blog.
For now, we thank all the wonderful people who have been so supportive from day 1 and wish you all a joyous festive season.