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BROADBAND

Bringing Broadband to Highland Perthshire

Highland Perthshire Communities Partnership (HPCP) is a registered Charity and was inaugurated 16 years ago as an umbrella group to bring together groups and organisations working to a common theme in Highland Perthshire. HPCP’s current focus is a rural broadband project.

The project aims to

  • Raise broadband speeds across Highland Perthshire to provide a credible, superfast broadband service to those not covered in the digital roll-out across Scotland
  • Supply anyone in Highland Perthshire who wants to be connected
  • Stay within the hands of the community – any profit will be reinvested in new technology and upgrading the network so that Highland Perthshire stays ahead of the curve

 

How does it work & when will work begin?

  • The project works via line of sight micro wave technology, meaning even remote areas can be covered. A small decoder box is fixed to a habitation in order to receive the signal
  • Phase 1, a pilot, is already underway and the first subscribers are expected to go live in Spring. Phase 1 will cover some subscribers in Struan and Amulree & Trochry
  • Monatech, the company behind the successful community broadband project at Laggan will be conducting the technical work
  • Prices for broadband packages will be competitive to ensure subscribers receive the best service at a fair rate
  • A landline is not necessary to receive this service and subscribers may use HPCP’s broadband service alongside another provider for comparison
  • The service the HPCP broadband project provides is not an ‘up to’ service – subscribers will get the speeds they pay for

For further information or an expression interest please contact Kate MacRitchie at katehpcp@gmail.com


COURIER    3 January 2015

A broadband revolution is coming to Highland Perthshire — and those behind the scheme believe it could provide a jobs bonanza for the region.

In July, The Courier first unveiled details of the DIY plan to bring superfast speeds to previously deprived areas.

The ambitious project has progressed apace and now the Highland Perthshire Communities Partnership (HPCP) expects its first subscribers to go live in the spring.

It believes that jobs will be created through training a network of locally-based engineers, while access to cutting-edge services will enable a new generation of entrepreneurs to start rural businesses.

The partnership has been running for more than 15 years but the broadband project is by far its most ambitious.

It came about as a solution to the region’s on-going broadband woes after it became clear that the promised roll-out of speedy connection would take years to arrive.

The internet has become vital to the rural economy and it was felt that a three-year wait for decent connection speeds could cause families to leave the area and put businesses in jeopardy.

To tackle that problem head-on, the partnership devised its scheme, with phase one covering Amulree, Trochry and Struan before extending to all of Highland Perthshire.

The partnership has more than two dozen members — including all the Highland Perthshire community councils — and its work has now been backed by Perth and Kinross Council, Community Broadband Scotland and the SSE Griffin Wind Farm.

A spokesperson told the Courier: “The project will remain in the hands of the community, with full profit retention and asset ownership, allowing all profits to be reinvested in new technology so that Highland Perthshire can maintain good connectivity and stay ahead of the curve.

“As the roll-out continues, job creation will be an inevitable part of the project, both directly and indirectly.”

The spokesperson went on: “HPCP is committed to delivering where current broadband schemes have come up short, believing good connectivity to be more important to rural communities than those living in urban areas.

“Broadband is now a vital part of daily life and location should be no obstacle to good internet connection.

“The project envisions a stronger, better-connected Perthshire, where business can flourish and communities are empowered by the opportunities superfast broadband can offer,” added the HPCP spokesperson.

Funding is now in place to erect five small-scale telecoms masts at key locations to provide an improved service, with the intention of increasing speeds and creating more masts in the future.

The scheme has been endorsed by Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, whose chief executive, Vicki Unite, pictured, said speedy broadband has become a crucial element of daily business life.

“It is vital that businesses in both urban and rural areas of Perthshire have access to this critical infrastructure to support growth in our regional economy,” she said.

“For today’s businesses, having access to good broadband is as essential as being connected to other vital utilities, such as gas, electricity and water.”

Anyone who would like to express an interest in the scheme, or who simply wants more information, is asked to email katehpcp@gmail.com.




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