No move forward on rural Bute broadband

Homes and businesses in Kilchattan Bay and other rural parts of Bute will not benefit from the accelerated rollout of high speed fibre-optic broadband announced for Rothesay.
Homes and businesses in Kilchattan Bay and other rural parts of Bute will not benefit from the accelerated rollout of high speed fibre-optic broadband announced for Rothesay.

Householders and businesses in rural parts of Bute will not benefit from the acceleration of high-speed broadband to customers in Rothesay, The Buteman understands.

The Scottish Government announced this week that high-speed fibre-optic services will be available to customers on the Rothesay telephone exchange from this summer - instead of the first half of 2016, as originally planned.

But following the announcement Tom Cromack, who lives in Kilchattan Bay at the south end of Bute and is the founder and chair of the Bute Rural Community Broadband Group, contacted us to say that those living and working in rural parts of the island - and also in Colintraive - would not be following suit.

“As you say,” Tom told us, “it is good news for Rothesay but the bad news is that Kilchattan Bay and Colintraive will not receive its upgrade at the same

time as originally programmed.

“Stuart Robertson [director of digital at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, which is working with BT and the Scottish Government on the roll-out of high speed services in the Highlands and Islands] has confirmed to me that Kilchattan Bay and Colintraive are still on the original timescale of the first half of 2016.

“Yet again HIE and BT are favouring those who currently have a better service.”

The Rothesay telephone exchange covers customers in Ardbeg, Port Bannatyne, Ascog and Craigmore as well as the town itself, although download and upload speeds get slower the further you are from the exchange.