3 September 03
ADSL Guide - Wick Registrations So Far
Needs many more at the BT and Hydro sites if Wick is to get
nearer . Still no trigger figure set by BT. If you know anyone
in wick who might be interested in helping us all get Broadband ask them
to register their interest as soon as possible at the BT and Hydro sites.,
1 September 03
Survey Of Businesses Shows
Massive Increase in Broadband Use
British Chambers Of Commerce
Business broadband take-up doubles to 40 per cent. as half of UK companies
say broadband is critical to their success. The British Chambers of
Commerce today launches the largest independent survey of business
broadband usage ever undertaken in the UK. Sponsored by Oracle and Cisco
Systems ‘Business Broadband’ polled 4,000 businesses in the UK from all
sectors and company sizes.......................
7 August 03
Thurso Reaches The Magic 500 Trigger
Thurso has reached 500 sign ups at the BT Broadband site and we await
some announcements. Wick meantime has only 249 sign ups.
A lower population and less folk using the Internet in the east
of the county may mean Broadband will be slower to come in unless the
powers that be make some arrangements or a low trigger. Without a
lower trigger or a definite move to get Broadband into Wick it may not
happen. Will Caithness.org have to move house?????????????????????
Are We Nearly There Yet?
BT has announced 400 Additional Exchanges in the UK with trigger levels.
Thurso has been set a trigger of 500. Wick does not appear to have a
trigger level as yet. Sign ups In Wick 222 Thurso 385.
So Thurso is well on its way. But essentially both towns need more
people o sign up at the BT Broadband site.
If you have not done it do it now.
If you have phone a friend and ask them to sign up. Other town
campaigns are moving on and BT has said they will set things going once
these figures confirm demand for Broadband in an area.
To check the trigger levels go to -
Or sign up at www.bt.com/broadband
Reply To Query by Paul Cannop From BT Shows
Little chance of ADSL Broadband in The Near future
Your line is connected to the Thurso exchange. So far 370 customers have
registered an interest against your exchange, but unfortunately we are
unable to set a trigger level. The costs of upgrading have proven so
high, that the trigger level is unrealistic judged against the number of
subscribers on your exchange. Consequently, we have decided not to publish
There are a number of
substantial costs involved in upgrading an exchange for broadband ADSL--these
include the ADSL equipment in the exchange, the installation of that
equipment and the back haul connections. Taken together, these costs can
run into hundred thousands of pounds and we need to have a sound business
wherever we make these investments.
In order to find a
solution for exchanges like Thurso, we are looking into ways to reduce the
costs associated with upgrading an exchange for ADSL broadband. We will
continue to review your exchange on a quarterly basis and try to set a
target in a later stage.
I hope this sheds some
light on your query,
Miranda van de Heijning
BT Wholesale, Broadband Deployment Team
17 June 03
HIE PLEDGES £500,000 EXTRA
HELP FOR BROADBAND UPGRADES
Up to 1,300 businesses and community groups across the Highlands and
Islands are in line to share £500,000 worth of grants to help them upgrade
to broadband telecommunications. The area's development agency,
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), is making the funding available to
accelerate the take-up of broadband services in the region.
17 June 03
IT Firm Helps Highland Businesses Save £10,000
Leading Scottish IT consultancy, Escape, will next month show businesses
Highlands and Islands how they could shave
almost £10,000 off their IT and internet bills by using new ADSL internet
27 May 03
Broadband Balloons Could Do It For The Highlands
Could Broadband be here sooner than we thought.
23 May 03
Broadband Britain Counts Two Million Homes
21 May 03
Sign Ups Still Increasing
Thurso 329 and Wick 202
Register your interest at
7 May 03
Digital Divide Hits Rural Business
6 May 03
BT Urges Urgent Action Action On Rural Broadband
24 April 03
Sign Ups For Broad band at BT Site
Thurso reaches 325 and Wick 196 at the BT Broadband
26 March 03
Caithness.org Message Board Users May Move To Scottish Hydro Broadband
Folk waiting on broadband in Caithness may begin to move
their registrations to Hydro Board if the area is to be left without a
trigger for upgrading. Some folk may play safe and register with
both. Scottish Hydro sounds like it will be having lots of Caithness
registrations. Registering in a few places may get them all
CAMPAIGNS FOR BROADBAND IN
CAITHNESS AND SUTHERLAND
Jamie Stone MSP is leading the campaign for broadband technology to be
rolled out in the Far North. Scotland's First Minister, Jack McConnell,
spoke about the Executive's plans to increase access to broadband across
the country during First Minister's Questions this week. This follows his
announcement at the Highlands and Islands convention on Monday that six
telephone exchanges in the Highlands - Forres, Nairn, Dingwall, Buckie,
Oban and Fort William - will be upgraded for broadband.
11 March 03
BT is not the only answer
Another possibility has been suggested and
that is that
Electric who are also expanding in the Broadband services
arena. You can check out your area by postcode on their web
site. Not available in Caithness yet and in very few
other areas but if a few enquires were made then we might spark them
off. Our enquiry is already away and we await a reply........
7 March 03
Keep Going After Great Surge In Numbers
Tell a friend or relative
Wick now 144
Thurso now 239
7 March 03
Mid Band -
Will We Become The Poor Relation In Caithness?
Read about this latest possibility at Online Guardian
- that BT may try to give us in rural areas instead of Broadband.
It might be available sooner but is it what we really need or want.
Community web site folk down south seem to be against the idea if we
never get Broadband as its is no use for online games (big and
growing) or for many aspects for business users. Take a look
at the article and lets see your thoughts on the
4 March 03
Broadband Sign Ups In Caithness At BT Site
Wick 121 Thurso 195
7 February 03
We Are not Alone - Check Out Multithread
Listing some other areas trying to push for
7 February 03
AOL American subscribers Drop As More Turn To Broadband -
New York Times Technology
it appears that broadband subscriptions in the United States
increased to about 16 million at year's end from 10 million a year
earlier, out of about 60 million total households online. The
broadband offering by the three big dial-up players totals no more
than 2 million subscribers.................
28 January 03
PROJECT MANAGER WILL MAKE CONNECTED COMMUNITIES A
REALITY IN WESTERN ISLES
A project manager has been appointed to oversee the £1.5 million
Connected Communities project, which aims to deliver wireless
broadband across the Western Isles.
John Black, a radio telecoms
consultant, took over as project manager this month. The timing of
his appointment coincides with a major survey of over 1,000 Western
Isles-based businesses to establish their broadband requirements.
Turning On The internet Tap
The campaign to convert internet access in the Highlands and
Islands from a luxury that ties up your telephone line to a utility
that doesn't, is to receive another major boost.
The move forms part of the drive towards helping the Highlands and
Islands to become the first region in the UK, to achieve more than
95% coverage of broadband, the latest in communications technology.
If achieved, this would be seen as the most significant development
in telecommunications in a generation, and could be compared to the
introduction of mainstream electricity in the area fifty years ago.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is to invest almost £750,000
in two major projects to promote the benefits of broadband and
encourage people to register their interest in receiving it.
Latest Registration In
Caithness 21 January 03
Wick 89 Thurso 123
7 December 2002
Everyone needs to get two more people to sign up or we will not get
this thing off the ground in Caithness.
Current state of play today is
Well done to those who have now signed up to get ten times
faster access. But we need to keep going as BT are still
insisting that without demand they will not upgrade the exchanges.
There is also the possibility that if this takes too long some folk
will opt for satellite connection and they will no longer be
interested in signing up for the normal service making it harder for
everyone else to get the service running soon. We are also
likely to find we are in a queue to get the work carried out.
If other areas get their quota first then they will be ahead for
getting on to the list for the work. This is all speculative
but we have been told vaguely what needs to be done. If we get
the numbers we can toss the ball back to BT and then make noises to
get them to carry out the work - nicely of course!!!
2 December 2002
Plans To Accelerate Reach Of Broadband
Plans to accelerate the roll out of Broadband, stimulate competition
and improve access to customers for all service providers, were
outlined On Monday 2 December 2002.
Up to £24m has been allocated to
support business take-up and ensure that by the end of 2003, at
least 70% of the population have access to ADSL Broadband.
Summarising the impact of the intervention strategy, Minister for
Enterprise, Transport and Life Long Learning Iain Gray said:
"By the end of 2003, we aim to
take Scotland from the current ADSL coverage figure of around 40% of
the population, beyond the current UK figure of 66%, to a level in
excess of 70%. We want to do this through a commercial partnership,
which will, of course, be subject to State Aid rules.
If we do not intervene, commercial
projections indicate that we will not achieve 70% coverage until
2006, which is not acceptable"
The Minister announced the
initiative at the launch of the Executive’s progress report on
"Connecting Scotland: Our Broadband Future" – Making it Happen.
An extension of Broadband
infrastructure and a technology-neutral marketing campaign to raise
awareness of the benefits of existing services will be part of the
Mr Gray said:
"When my predecessor, Wendy Alexander, launched the Executive’s
broadband strategy last year, its aim was to promote affordable
access across Scotland, to facilitate economic development and to
prevent a digital divide between urban and rural areas.
Since the launch of the strategy, and despite the
recession in the global telecoms market, there has been progress on
Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands
Enterprise are driving forward initiatives to stimulate demand
through the establishment of Broadband demo centres throughout
Scotland, a programme of road shows and a newly launched information
website to advise and inform both business and individuals about
broadband in Scotland.
Trials of alternative delivery mechanisms for
rural areas are underway including a major Wireless project in the
Western Isles, Powerline carrier projects in Crieff and Campbeltown,
and Scottish Enterprise’s ATLAS project. The Enterprise Agencies
also have a number of initiatives to encourage the development of
content and applications.
To stimulate demand for higher bandwidth
connectivity, particularly in the remoter parts of Scotland,
‘Pathfinder’ projects are being developed. Negotiations between the
Executive and other public sector organisations in Scotland are due
to conclude with the awarding of contracts for these projects next
The Minister said:
"Despite everything that is already being done, we always accepted
that intervention might be necessary to kick start a positive chain
of events, that's why the provision was in the original strategy.
Having listened to what businesses are telling us, we are acting to
increase access and stimulate demand.
Our actions, taken along side developments already
occurring in the market place will grow the supply side further.
What we are aiming to achieve is a virtuous spiral, where increased
supply results in higher take up which in turn, delivers greater
investment in infrastructure.
The technology neutral marketing campaign is part
of this and we will work with the business sector and commercial
partners to ensure maximum take up of the available services."
"Connecting Scotland – Our Broadband Future" was
launched in August, 2001
The Scottish Broadband Website was launched
at the end of November 2002. It can be accessed at;
Western Isles, Fixed Wireless Trial, is one of a
number of trials of alternative delivery mechanisms. The project is
currently at the procurement stage and has the potential to extend
broadband access to the public sector and business right across the
Launched in June 2002, the Powerline Carrier
Trials in Crieff and Campbeltown are the first in Scotland to use
electricity power networks to deliver broadband communications.
The first phase of project ATLAS is to set up a
virtual telecoms trading exchange (TTE) in Scotland supported by a
link (backhaul) to london. The target market for the TTE will be
large corporates and Internet Service Prodivers. Phase II aims to
link up a series of business parks around the country and will
spread the benefits of ATLAS more widely.
Two Pathfinder projects, one in the Highlands and
Islands, the other in the South of Scotland, were set up in the
Autumn of 2001. The projects seek to exploit the potential of the
public sectors aggregated demand for higher bandwidth connectivity
to lever in major investment. The first stage of the formal
procurement process is the publication of the Contract Notices
inviting expressions of interest. These were published in November
Information Per BT
Average Cost Of Upgrading Local
Exchange - £250,000
High speed services available at
call centres in Thurso,
Alness and Fort William.
Scotland has 9% of UK population
but 20% of the exchanges.
BT wants a return on investment
As at 1 July 2002 1115 exchanges
converted in areas taking into account community
benefits to schools and colleges and commercial viability for BT.
66% of UK homes and 73% of current Internet users.
Past and present Internet usage is
used to help decide areas to go into.
BT is providing 11,000 new
broadband installations a week.
Registration levels will be used
to help determine where to upgrade exchanges.
28 November 2002
Sign Ups Wick 66 Thurso 106
Have you signed up yet????
17 November 2002
Sign Ups Moving Slowly
59 in Wick area and 102 in Thurso
All of you who have signed up will need to get at least three
others to do the same or we will never get there. You
can do it!!!!!
9 October 2002
Signs Ups For Interest In Broadband Still Too Low
The number of people signing up for more information and to say
they are interested in Broadband is presently way below what BT
wants to begin looking at upgrading exchanges in Thurso. Only
44 people in the Wick exchange and 71 in the Thurso exchange have so
far signed up as interested. If you are interested in getting
more information you can help get things moving by signing up for
more information at the
Caithness Is A Long Way From Broadband Numbers On BT Sign Up Web
Given that BT are asking for 400 people to
register for Broadband Internet access in each exchange area before
they will upgrade the local exchange things are not looking hopeful
at present. Only 31 people in the Wick and 49 in Thurso
exchange areas have so far singed up to show they are interested.
As Broadband would mean access up to 10 times faster the benefits
are huge. Not only in getting your favourite web sites without
all the waiting but also to opening up new business opportunities.
If you still have not signed up to register your interest then go to
369 more in Wick and 351 in Thurso.
Imagine if you all
had to sign up in blocks of 400 for other services would we ever
have had water, electricity of the phone. Would we even
have postage stamps.
18 September 2002
For New Broadband Technology
Organisers of a pilot project in the Highlands to trial new
technology that gives up to ten times faster access to the internet,
are looking for business and private sector users of the internet to
take part. The trials, beginning next month for a six-month
period, are to take place at Drumnadrochit and Muir of Ord under a
partnership project involving Highlands and Islands Enterprise, BT
and Inverness-based internet service provider, Scotnet.
20 August 2002
The Digital Divide - Channel Four News
Channel Four News highlighted the problem of the digital divide for
many areas and it was not just rural areas who were moaning.
with BT still saying they had to consider the profits and the
government seemingly content with the expansion in many parts of the
country where they say 20,000 new customers a week are hooking up to
Broadband. But the investment by government in the UK at about
£30 million is the lowest in the G8 countries. France
and Germany are already in the one billion pounds category.
For all the speeches about being wired up by 2005 it looks as if
only some parts of the UK will have access. Even web
developers in towns might not have access for one reason or another
putting them at a disadvantage compared to other places.
6 August 2002
As many of you will know the issues surrounding Broadband services
for Internet access continue to be a sore point in rural areas.
Local MP John Thurso Gets Involved
Now John Thurso has also decided to get involved
and he has written an open letter to constituents asking for their
help by emailing him about their need for broadband. BT is
offering a registration service online. This just means you
are interested and does not commit you to anything. So get
going and register...
Here is the letter from John Thurso to
High-speed Internet access, commercially referred
to as broadband, gives an immense competitive advantage to any
business which can access this new technology.
The Government currently intends to allow the
roll-out of broadband to be dictated by market forces. This will
inevitably mean that remote areas such as our own in the North
Highlands will be last on the list.
I am therefore this week launching a campaign,
first to bring home to Government that investment in broadband for
remote areas is a necessity in order to avoid job losses and to
promote social inclusion, and secondly to persuade the main
providers such as BT not to discriminate against the North.
The Chairman of BT has recently advised me that
they are launching an on-line registration system specifically to
encourage individual consumers and businesses to register their
interest in a broadband service in their area.
It is vital that every business and individual
registers their interest NOW
In order to help me persuade the Government
of our case for broadband, please email me at
with your support and please indicate in your email whether
you have registered an interest with BT.
Broadband offers businesses and self-employed in
the Highlands the potential to compete on equal terms worldwide. At
a stroke, it removes many of the barriers facing remote rural
locations and offers all the advantages to come to the fore.
Conversely, as broadband roll-out continues apace in other countries
and more populated parts of the UK, the lack of this technology in
the North will be increasingly felt, ultimately making our firms
I do hope that you will both register with BT and
send me your support to help reinforce my approach to Government.
With very kind regards,
New Broadband section 6 August 2002
Moved into our news section as we think this will be a growing issue over
coming months and links will be made from our monthly news sections.
Broadband Poll On Caithness.org
Debate the Issue On Caithness.org
Do You Want Broadband Access To The Internet?
15 March 2002
The arguments are raging on the Message board about
this issue and it is more important than many people realise for the
future of communications and jobs in the Highlands. What is mainly
required is for the exchanges to be enabled to take this new service. Web
sites are now striving to get BT to take notice of the demand already
there. You can now register to say you are interested and it will help to
guage the level of demand if you go to the web sites listed here and
register your interest in this type of service. If you are not sure what
it is all about go to our Message board and Read under "to
those of you who haven't got dsl listen up"
then go to these web sites and register
or read an article about it at
British Telecom have said they will look seriously at the problem if
there is sufficient interest......... over to you to tell them you want
faster connections and not be left behind in this.