STAFFIN residents and businesses – who are currently plagued by frustratingly slow internet speeds – are needed to help secure a new superfast broadband scheme.
The North Skye Broadband Project, which was launched by the Glendale Trust, investigated internet provision in Glendale, Waternish and Duntulm in a major public consultation between April and May and concluded that there was demand for a community-led broadband service.
Almost 50 people from Staffiin also completed a survey outlining the current online service in the Taobh Sear, which indicated the issue’s significance locally. BT will roll-out superfast broadband to Staffin next year. However, townships like Elishadder, Valtos, Culnacnoc, Tote, Grealin, Lealt, Flodigarry, Digg and Glasphein are expected to miss out as it gets much slower the further a property is away from the exchange. A new fibre structure (cabinet) is expected to be installed close to the exchange and properties within 1.2 miles should be able to receive superfast.
A meeting was held in Glendale on Wednesday (22.7) with officials from the government-backed Community Broadband Scotland outlining how a grant of up to 89 per cent could be secured to pay for the project. Representatives from Glendale, Sligachan and Struan were also in attendance. An indicative map of areas which could be involved was presented at the meeting. It included Staffin and efforts are now underway to establish a steering group – made up of representatives from the communities likely to miss out – including Kilmuir, Struan, Glendale, Waternish, Skeabost, Edinbane and Staffin – so that the next steps can be taken.
Community Broadband Scotland has helped organisations across Scotland, including a major superfast project in rural Argyll communities, so will be a key source of constant guidance and support to the new steering group. Glendale has led the project to date but ALL the communities need to have representatives on the new steering group.
If Staffin is to become involved in the project and get superfast for the whole district then representatives of the community are needed, at least two people. Please be assured that a technical background or knowledge is NOT essential. Ideally, a resident or a business representative from Staffin.
It is planned to hold the next meeting in Skeabost – a central location for all the communities – in August.
If you are interested in joining the steering group please contact Staffin Trust development officer Hugh Ross. Drop in to the portacabin, phone him on 562 464 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org