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Caithness.org News Bulletins
Broadband Issues

Caithness.org News Index

Exchanges Being Enabled Dates

11 February 05
BT Up The Broadband To 2mb
Major upgrades to 1mb and 2mb for broadband are about to come on stream. Depending on the package you pay for you will be upgraded without extra cost.  Other ISP's will no doubt be following but it might be as well to check all the deals as you contract comes to an end - often 12 months.  If you are not bound by a contract then check out who is offering what closely to save money.  But as ever check the quality of the service as cheapest may not always be best.

July 2004
The Caithness.org Team Are Now All On Broadband

Broadband For Scotland
Web site for advice on how to get Broadband in Scotland

All Of Scotland To Get Broadband
Triggers abolished
No more sign-ups  - just waiting for it all to happen as the Scottish Government has decided to ensue everyone in Scotland can have Broadband.

23 February 04
Gillock Graph
Gillock graph now added to list

8 February 04
Date Extended For Broadband E Petition
A quick look at the Broadband for rural areas e-petition at the Scottish Parliament web site shows they have extended the date to 28 February instead of the originally 31 January.  Perhaps the flurry of activity since we discovered the petition buried there has made them think again.  So if you have not yet seen it or signed it hop over and help rural areas get heard on the Broadband issue at the parliament.

6 February 04
Barrock Closing In On Trigger Figure
73 sign ups as Barrock heads for magic 100

5 February 04
BT backs wireless BB for ADSL have-nots

2 February 04
Caithness Business Club Pulls Castletown Up To The Trigger For Broadband
Following Wick reaching its trigger figure the Caithness Business Club who were to have campaigned in Wick on Saturday changed moved their effort to Castletown and obtained over 120 sign-ups to take the town past the trigger figure.  Next weekend members will arrive in Halkirk to try to achieve similar success.

27 January 04
Written Question At Scottish Parliament On Monday
Nora Radcliffe (Gordon) (LD): To ask the Scottish Executive what percentage of households currently has access to a broadband internet connection. Mr Jim Wallace: Around 70% of Scottish households can now access a broadband internet connection.

24 January 04

People living on the Island of Tiree and in Port Charlotte on Islay are celebrating reaching their BT set trigger levels for Broadband. 
Locals in both communities have carried out a rigorous campaign to ensure the magic number of 100 registrations was reached. In less than three weeks, both exchanges went from having amongst the lowest level of registrations across Argyll to leading the field.

16 January 04
E-petition At Scottish Parliament For Broadband
Alan Kennedy has raised an e-petition on the Scottish Parliament web site.  If you agree that the whole of Scotland should get Broadband then get on over and sign it.
It reads as follows -
It is generally acknowledged that the introduction of Broadband technology is both desirable and essential to the development of business and the empowerment of individuals wherever they may live in Scotland. Yet the present situation is neither satisfactory, fair nor defensible in terms of both business and community development.
Despite recent announcements by British Telecom the fact remains that many communities, particularly in the rural areas, will still find it impossible to meet the targets levels, arbitrarily and often insensitively set by BT, or are too small to be ever given a target figure for Broadband installation. Alternative options, such as satellite broadband and wireless based networks, whilst technically feasible, tend to be expensive to operate and erratic in performance standards over varying geographical areas.
The present support of Scottish Enterprise in encouraging communities to take up Broadband is praiseworthy but in itself is not sufficient to overcome the problem. . Unless The Scottish Parliament grasps this issue and resolves it now we will simply further the division of the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ and perhaps fatally weaken the prospects of rural communities surviving and competing in society and business in the years ahead.
This petitioner seeks to request that the Scottish Parliament takes action to enable it to declare that it will, by whatever means are necessary, ensure the provision of Broadband facilities to all communities throughout Scotland by mid 2005.

5 January 04
Numbers Still Going Up

Will more areas in Caithness reach the trigger figures for Broadband in 2004.  By 23 December Wick stood at 368 showing that there are still folk deciding to register their interest.  Perhaps new computer owners will also add their names shortly to the growing list.

15 December 03
UK Broadband Users Reach 3 million
The Ofcom web site now shows that the UK has passed the 3 million users mark for Broadband.  New subscribers are being hooked up at the rate of 40,000 a week in areas that have access.   At 10 December Wick had reached 357 people signed up as interested in Broadband still some way short of the trigger of 500 but moving in the right direction.  Maybe a few more will arrive if more folk get on the Internet after Christmas.

6 December 03
Form On Caithness.org Gains 123 Sign Ups For Broadband - Keep Them Coming
Colin's form has certainly given the numbers a great boost.  If everyone who has signed up could get just one more person to sign up we would sweep past the 500 trigger to enable the Wick exchange.  But other small rural areas should keep asking folk as you might just reach the 100 target set.   Come On Wickers lets hit the target before the end of the year.......................

29 November 03
From Colin Manson

Thought I'd offer to help out, if you don't know where to look or how to signup, I have created a simple form here on Caithness.org.
All you need to enter is :-
First Name
Last Name
Post Code
Phone Number
Then I'll register them for you. As mentioned above by pre-registering, you are not committed to purchase but just to make your vote count.
Colin Manson

23 November 03
Caithness Trigger Figures
Barrock - 100
Castletown - 150
Halkirk - 200
Lybster - 100
Watten - 100

Wick - 500
Thurso already has the numbers and dates.
Other exchanges may not have a trigger set as yet.

21 November 03
Wick Has A Trigger figure For Broadband - 500
Yes a figure has finally been set for Wick at 500 and many other smaller places around the country also have figures set by BT.  You can check back here to see how things are going.  But what we really need is for everyone who wants Broadband to happen to get signed up and get everyone they know to make sure they sign up.  Broadband is essential if the area is to keep up with communications in the 21st century.  It is faster than you think and a must have for many new businesses locating to new areas.
check back here or the Message Board Broadband section

As at 21 November Wick has 309 sign ups

What Can You Do To Help
Sign Up Yourself
Help anyone Who is unsure of how to sign up.
Ask folk if they have signed up
Send a memo round your work place.

20 October 03
Broadband Line Tester  - Message Board
Some good links here if you want to find oout if your area might be able to get ADSL connections.

6 October 03
Broadband Heads For The Islands
Stornoway, Kirkwall and Lerwick are all to get ADSL connections with backing from highlands and Islands Enterprise next year....

16 September 03
Broadband Boost For Scottish Business

£1.5 million Business Broadband Incentive Fund To Encourage Up To 5000 Companies
Scottish businesses are being encouraged to get connected to broadband with a new incentive scheme.  Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Jim Wallace announced the new £1.5 million Business Broadband Incentive fund to encourage up to 5000 new companies to take advantage of the business benefits broadband offers.  Mr Wallace also announced that new independent research to be published later this week will back the Executive’s strategy of increasing broadband take–up through measures to stimulate demand.  Companies can check if they are eligible by clicking on to the Scottish enterprise web site...............

16 September 03
HIE Launches Wireless Broadband Company
Today sees the launch of HI-WIDE Ltd, a not-for-profit company that will bring broadband to the most rural and remote parts of the Highlands and Islands.  The company has been created by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in response to an increasing need for broadband in areas where ADSL broadband cannot be supplied.  Areas in Caithness on the list are -
Reay, Barrock, John o Groats, Berriedale, Dunbeath, Latheronwheel, Lybster, Thrumster, Watten

16 September 03
Broadband Coming To Thurso
Exchange Upgrade Around 7 January 2004
Yes its another step closer for Thurso as the announcements have been made regarding the exchange upgrade work.  Remember you do not have to sign up with the first company that contacts you regarding Broadband.  Take your time and consider all the packages on offer or that may come along before January.  Get all the information together and chat to others thinking about it before you sign on the dotted line............................

15 September 03
Fast web access for over 2.3m
Broadband access in the UK is growing by 30,000 subscribers a week, according to new figures. At the end of July, over 2.3m people in the UK had signed up for broadband.  Over 75 per cent of the population now have the option of connecting to the services.  Communications Minister Stephen Timms said the UK is aiming to be the most extensive and competitive broadband market in the G7 by 2005.   "Our role in helping to achieving that is to create an economic environment that stimulates a dynamic broadband market delivering strong competition and high quality choice," he said.   Mt Timms said that access to broadband needs to be improved for people living in more rural locations.  "That's why we established the Rural Broadband Unit to focus on increasing access in those areas."
The Rural Broadband Unit promotes best practice at national, regional and local level to increase access to broadband in rural locations. The Unit is a joint team from Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Food and Rural Affairs.
The Government is investing £1 billion on public sector broadband connectivity over the next three years. This will include pooling broadband services for schools and connecting up GP surgeries, hospitals and health authorities.

Earlier Broadband News

The Broadband Resource - Sam Knows
Broadband Map UK

Maps showing coverage of ADSL and cable across the UK
News broadband web site
Better Broadband for Britain
Information about improving rural access to broadband
Bandwidth Place Test your bandwidth speed here - FREE
Ofcom Broadband Brief

Broadband Where You Live
Broadband Trigger Levels
ADSL Guide
Broadband On Message Board

Broadband On Message Board 2
HIE Broadband
BT Broadband
Broadband Scotland.net
The Register
Scottish Enterprise Broadband Pages
Dantech Broadband
FAQ From Technology Scotland
BBC Technology Index

BT Has Ceased the Sign Ups
The graphs are removed as being of no further use.