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Marvin
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Problems with Broadband in Gulberwick  

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  1. 1. Problems with Broadband in Gulberwick

    • Oh YES!
      10
    • Oh NO!
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HairyIan do you meen that BT has their OWN fibre network?And if so why have the SIC spent £1,500,000 laying a fibre?

 

BT is the biggest network operator in UK, so surely not a surprise they own fibre ?

 

However, they also user other carriers cables and vice versa.

 

The work to get Lerwick on ADSL2+ is just about as little as they can do and still say they have something that works. Note Brendan Dick would like SIC to become his best friend and give him (BT) all their money.

 

It appears the Lerwick 'upgrade' is being financed entirely by BT, so there will be no 'open access' obligation on them. BT can pick an choose customers and services provided.

 

Having more than one network operator available is 'good'. For start we will no longer have to 'beg' BT to provide a service.

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why have the SIC spent £1,500,000 laying a fibre?

 

In fairness it seems like a sound investment, as it was stated they'd easily recoup this cost with the local authority/NHS using it alone, compared to the current expensive link.

 

BT's plan was probably vague at the time, and this lack of direction coupled with service frustration was probably a factor also.

 

From what I understand the ETA for Shetland Telecom is February, and correct me if I'm wrong, it may be cheaper than BT if the low-running cost savings are passed onto the customer.

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Well suprise suprise! Lerwick first in the queue as if the did not have the best speed’s already

 

The best public access speed in Shetland is in Fetlar, but only if you use the Community Broadband Network.

 

Parts of Vidlin are in second place by the tiniest of margins, but once again only if you use Community Broadband Network.

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  • 1 month later...
why have the SIC spent £1,500,000 laying a fibre?

 

In fairness it seems like a sound investment, as it was stated they'd easily recoup this cost with the local authority/NHS using it alone, compared to the current expensive link.

 

BT's plan was probably vague at the time, and this lack of direction coupled with service frustration was probably a factor also.

 

From what I understand the ETA for Shetland Telecom is February, and correct me if I'm wrong, it may be cheaper than BT if the low-running cost savings are passed onto the customer.

 

At the moment I disagree. The SIC are a Local Authority and IMHO should concentrate on basic services, let alone decide to blooming run a cable. WHY on earth did the SIC not look at using the likes of Tooway satellite for remote areas or linking their offices/schools, etc.? The Welsh Assembly have utilised satellites for their rural areas and if you live in an area without broadband, there is a scheme to link you up with Tooway. Lest us not forget that the cable will need maintenance at some stage.

 

Oh, and what about the article in the paper a short while back stating that the SIC were now looking at potential community groups to tap into said cable? Err excuse me - didn't they check first of all what groups were interested and discuss with them link-up/connection costs before embarking on the project? Would a local community group be able to afford to connect to it?

 

There is surely no guarantee that the NHS if they use the cable now will continue to do so in future nor for that matter, any community groups.

 

If I'm wrong in my assumptions then I'll quite happily admit to being wrong but at the moment, I'm not impressed.

 

Given that BT Business advised me that BT have ditched their plans to lease data capacity on the Faroe under the old sea cable which coincided with their announcement to provide Lerwick with better services, I'm inclined to put pressure on the Scottish Government to follow the Welsh Assembly's stance and go with the likes of Tooway.

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Yuk Tooway!! Last time I looked it had 2 second latency!

 

Tooway openly admit it is no good for gaming and that the pings are very high; however, given that download is around 10 and upload of 2, they are getting good reports. Initially in Shetland there were reliablity problems but my understanding is that these have been ironed out. They are a growing company and the parent company/sister company have been involved in providing satellites to the marine industry for yonks.

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[

At the moment I disagree. The SIC are a Local Authority and IMHO should concentrate on basic services, let alone decide to blooming run a cable. WHY on earth did the SIC not look at using the likes of Tooway satellite for remote areas or linking their offices/schools, etc.? The Welsh Assembly have utilised satellites for their rural areas and if you live in an area without broadband, there is a scheme to link you up with Tooway. Lest us not forget that the cable will need maintenance at some stage.

 

 

Our network which links Lerwick to Sandwick has been put in place to link Council sites. The current contract for services to these sites expires in 2014. Come 2014 these sites will be able to serviced at little or no additional cost to the Council. The network also connects to the Faroese cable and will provide affordable bandwidth off-island. The current cost of this bandwidth (if it were available) is somewhere in the region of 20x the price of the similar service in Aberdeen

 

It is currently impossible to buy backhaul in Shetland. BT and C&W can't supply it. Without backhaul there can be no expansion of services whether that be business services, mobile coverage, community schemes....etc etc.

 

Satellite for backhaul would be a sizable backwards step from the microwave link we already have. We are talking backhaul networks (main transmission networks), not connections for homes/businesses. The only places that use satellite for backhaul is the likes of the Falkland Islands. The whole island has about 8Mbps to divide up amongst themselves.

 

I'm not going to go into length about the pros/cons of satellite but it is a technology that can be used where no other technology is available for individual premises. It is reasonably fast but latency means it cannot be used for certain services. It is also expensive compared to other technologies and maintenance can be issue when the nearest engineer is in Aberdeen.

 

The Scottish Government did run a scheme whereby they paid the installation cost for satellite. That scheme ended some time ago and is unlikely to be repeated.

 

Oh, and what about the article in the paper a short while back stating that the SIC were now looking at potential community groups to tap into said cable? Err excuse me - didn't they check first of all what groups were interested and discuss with them link-up/connection costs before embarking on the project? Would a local community group be able to afford to connect to it?

 

Provision of community schemes (apart from Vidlin and Fetlar trials) is not a primary objective of our project. However, the fibre and the off-island bandwidth is there, so any community scheme who wants to use it are welcome. It makes no sense not to allow 'go-ahead' communities to connect to it.

 

There is surely no guarantee that the NHS if they use the cable now will continue to do so in future nor for that matter, any community groups.

 

The service will be available to those that want it and those that don't, don't have to use it. Same as every other service.

If I'm wrong in my assumptions then I'll quite happily admit to being wrong but at the moment, I'm not impressed.

 

Given that BT Business advised me that BT have ditched their plans to lease data capacity on the Faroe under the old sea cable which coincided with their announcement to provide Lerwick with better services,

 

They leased capacity in 2007 but don't use it at the moment. They will once ADSL2+ is deployed (in Lerwick only) in August 2012. They will need the capacity in SHEFA in order to deliver. The 'BT' of which you speak is in fact many organisations. BT Retail and BT Wholesale are different beasts.

 

I'm inclined to put pressure on the Scottish Government to follow the Welsh Assembly's stance and go with the likes of Tooway.

 

 

Scottish Govt have been there before and are unlikely to want to repeat the process. I will gladly point you in the direction of people who got connected during the SG scheme for their feedback.

 

The Welsh Assembly did the Fibrespeed backhaul project http://www.geo-uk.net/projects/fibre-to-the-premises/welsh-assembly-government-fibrespeed.

 

As previously stated I am more than happy to address any issues directly and I try to look in on the forum whenever I get a chance.

 

Marvin Smith

Project Manager - Shetland Telecom Project

66 Commercial Rd, Lerwick

 

marvin.smith'at'shetland.gov.uk

Direct dial: 01595 744921

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^^ Cheers for all of that, Marvin.

 

Incidentally, I deal with BT Business. I forget the name that was mentioned of the Manager for Scotland but was definitely told that BT, whilst initially having difficulties re getting the Faroes cable to interlink with their software/equipment and the date kept being postponing, that they are not going to be using it - that has definitely been shelved. If you've got information to the contrary, be glad to hear of its source, etc.

 

Tooway is installed up here via Islesat; the guy from the Orkney side of the business is doing it. Now whether or not he is also the guy who deals with system faults or not, I'm not sure but if so, a (slightly) tad nearer than Aberdeen. Yep, it isn't cheap but it is now a two way satellite as opposed to the older types and I believe it was rocketed up into (cyber LOL) space last year.

 

Incidentally, how did the first digital forum meeting on Tuesday go? I'm down to receive meeting notes but just wondered how it went.

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^^ Cheers for all of that, Marvin.

 

Incidentally, I deal with BT Business. I forget the name that was mentioned of the Manager for Scotland but was definitely told that BT, whilst initially having difficulties re getting the Faroes cable to interlink with their software/equipment and the date kept being postponing, that they are not going to be using it - that has definitely been shelved. If you've got information to the contrary, be glad to hear of its source, etc.

 

No problem. Always happy to answer questions.

 

BT don't necessarily tell us what their lastest plans are. To be honest, it no longer really impacts on what we do. We have a clear objective and we are nearly complete. Their plans become more important when we look towards future roll-outs. At that point we are more than happy to engage with them again in order to get the best result for Shetland.

 

Tooway is installed up here via Islesat; the guy from the Orkney side of the business is doing it. Now whether or not he is also the guy who deals with system faults or not, I'm not sure but if so, a (slightly) tad nearer than Aberdeen. Yep, it isn't cheap but it is now a two way satellite as opposed to the older types and I believe it was rocketed up into (cyber LOL) space last year.

 

As a technology it has it's limitations but in certain areas and for certain uses it is very good. Usage limits can be a major problem/cost. The usage limits are very small compared to ADSL for instance. A standard package on BT has a monthly limit of 10GBs or 40GBs. For satellite you are looking at a fraction of that.

 

Just out of interest ,seeing as I was talking about the Falklands, I did a quick check of prices. A 1Mbps (contended) service costs £199 per month..... jeeezo!... I thought we had it bad....

 

Incidentally, how did the first digital forum meeting on Tuesday go? I'm down to receive meeting notes but just wondered how it went.

 

It was actually pretty good. It was a good turnout (about 40) and it was a good cross section of the community. The bit that surprised me a little was that most of the conversation was about mobile coverage. I think people can see things happening with broadband but not a lot happening with mobile.

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Why go to Shetland Telecom when you can go to BT? I was asked.

So, I asked BT for a 1 Gbps connection. Mmmmm ... engineering are looking into this ...... engineering are still looking ..... Sorry, we can'ts supply that to Shetland. The best we can offer at this time is 2 Mbps connection to our Node in Aberdeen. Another BT source says problem should be sorted in about 2 years, but not for sure.

 

Shetland Telecom, say YES ! But it will take a month. What colour would you like?

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