While Bute waits to hear details of the plans for an undersea fibre-optic broadband cable and upgrade of the Rothesay telephone exchange, a group representing the island’s rural residents and businesses has been hard at work looking at solutions for parts of the island which won’t be covered by the BT upgrade.
The Bute Rural Community Broadband Group has been working with Campbell Cameron, the Argyll, Lomond and the Islands adviser for Community Broadband Scotland, on ways to improve broadband connections for internet users outside Rothesay.
Anne Bissell from BRCBG said: “Initially BRCBG concentrated its’ efforts on the area around Kingarth and Kilchattan Bay.
“Encouraged, however, by Community Broadband Scotland the group has widened its remit to extend to all rural areas of Bute, outside the town of Rothesay.
“In November the group submitted a stage one project overview application to Community Broadband Scotland. This has recently been approved, so that the group can now proceed to issue a fully funded, stage two technical options appraisal tender document to interested parties to design the most appropriate system to deliver high speed broadband to rural Bute.”
Anne and BRCBG chairman Tom Cromack are working on the tender document, and hope to be able to issue the completed version within the next two weeks.
Following an expression of interest by Mount Stuart Trust in helping move the project forward a representative from Mount Stuart Trust has been co-opted to the committee.
A report from the technical appraisal of the options for the rural community is expected by early June when further community consultation will be undertaken.