Latest news 01/12/12

A few of us have set up Locheilnet, a Community Interest Company with the aim of providing a wireless high speed broadband network, servicing the community around Loch Eil, from Achaphubuil to the end of Loch Eil on both sides.

In order to comply with funding regulations, our services are unfortunately limited to people who cannot/will not otherwise be supplied with next generation broadband via the existing infrastructure.  Obviously, if in the future, it becomes clear that BT will not be offering high speed broadband service between Fort William and Corpach, a new project could be set up or the existing one amended.

You can read about the project on our website:

If you would like to be invited to the informative meeting or are interested in joining us, please send us an e-mail and we will add you to our list.

Many thanks

Chris Pellow

Update 26 July 2012

Highlands and Islands Enterprise is seeking information from local people and businesses about the quality of their current broadband service.  They will also be asking broadband providers to confirm any plans they have to upgrade to superfast provision.

The deadline for comments was 13th August 2012.

HIE says they aim “to ensure that superfast broadband – delivering speeds of 30 megabits per second (Mbps) or more – is available to everyone in the region by 2020, with significant progress made by 2015.”  Let’s hold them to that and keep the pressure up by making sure they know about the difficulties some people have in Kilmallie.  KCC will be passing on all information that we’ve received on local broadband problems so far.

Broadband difficulties in Kilmallie

In Oct 2011, KCC received a request from Chris Pellow in Fassfern for support in her household’s struggle to be provided with an acceptable broadband service.   Chris has subsequently become as Associate member of KCC and is spearheading our efforts to ascertain the extent of the problem in Kilmallie.

Email from Scottish Office to Chris Pellow 28/06/12 (pdf 42KB)  (Chris is Mrs not Mr by the way!)

Letter from Chris Pellow to KCC 06/10/11 (pdf 41kb)

Report on broadband problems at Fassfern from Chris Pellow (pdf 14kb)

KCC are committed to supporting our community in working towards acceptable broadband services in all areas.  We’re not yet sure of the precise ways in which we can help.   But as a preliminary, we are trying to find out how many people in the Kilmallie area are unhappy with the broadband service they receive, and what sort of speeds they are having to struggle with.

Please if you live in Kilmallie and are unhappy with your broadband service.  Please let us know what speeds you are getting.   To test your speed, go to eg and run the test for eg ‘text’ or ‘shuttle’.

We’d like to hear from you if you have any broadband problems.   We can’t promise we can help, but we will do what we can.   This might include helping to put pressure on BT and other providers, or helping you explore community enterprise solutions.   But if you don’t get in touch, we can’t help!

Five years ago broadband might have been seen as a luxury.  But increasingly it is a necessity of modern life.   What’s more it is a service that particularly benefits the least advantaged in our community: people who are isolated, by dint of being less mobile, or elderly, disabled, on low income, or living in remote areas.

Update June 2012

We haven’t received many responses so far to the broadband issue.  This might be for various reasons:

  • people are happy with their broadband speeds?
  • people can have fast broadband access at work and are depending on it as much as we are?
  • people who have limited access try to optimise their time online and will not bother e-mailing KCC?
  • the recent publicity about impending improvements by BT in some areas may have raised hopes and deterred people from complaining?
  • there are too many other more urgent matters to complain about!

Whatever the reason, the problem is still there for a number of us in Kilmallie. After reading an article by the BBC recently, I wrote to Michael Moore MP asking for more details on where and especially when this money will be made available, and be put to good use.   I know that I am probably living in a utopian world where my expectations are concerned, but I would like to hang on to that little bit of hope.  At the moment I am waiting for another e-mail regarding the contacts within BT to discuss this matter further. Meanwhile, if you are unhappy with your broadband speeds, please get in touch with me.

Chris Pellow

Broadband provides opportunities for

  • business development
  • entertainment
  • social contact
  • shopping
  • information resources
  • education and distance learning.

not to mention reading the KCC newsletter online!