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Sleat Community Council

Comhairle Choimhearsnachd Shlèite

Update by David Ashford on rural broadband

Added on 02 October 2012


Dave Thompson, SNP MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, has arranged for a broadband demonstrator van to visit his constituency, which will demonstrate satellite broadband using a new generation of satellites from Wednesday 26th to Saturday 29th September. The van will stop at several constituent’s houses in Dave’s constituency, including Glencoe, a number of locations in Skye, and Glenfinnan, all areas with difficulties accessing broadband.

Commenting on this, Dave Thompson said:

“I'm delighted to welcome the Avonline demonstration van to my constituency, and particularly the west coast areas which have difficulty in securing a broadband service. Avonline have demonstrated their willingness to be tested in difficult circumstances by arranging for this demonstration, and offer packages that are competitively priced compared to conventional ASDL.”

The new service, unlike previous satellite services, offers a fast connection of 8Mbps, 12Mpbs or 18Mpbs. The service runs using Ka band satellites, a new generation launched in 2011, which overcomes many of the tradition challenges faced by previous satellite broadband services, by improving reliability, speed and the quality of the connection.

All that is required to secure a connection to the service is a south facing sight of the sky above 26 degrees and a small (74cm) dish. No telephone line is required, meaning there is no line rental charge to add to the cost.

Dave added;

“Many remote communities in my constituency have poor or even no access to broadband, this is a particular problem in Glenfinnan.

The challenges of a suitable infrastructure for broadband and the effect that the geography can have on reception has complicated traditional services in many remote areas, and so I welcome the new generation of satellite technology which can offer a broadband service comparable to those available via ASDL elsewhere in Scotland.

Broadband has become essential to modern business, and areas with a poor connection are at a significant competitive disadvantage.

If Avonline’s promises are correct then their service will offer a considerable improvement on previous satellite broadband offerings. It might be possible for other folk to see the demonstration in action. Anyone interested in attending a demonstration should contact my constituency office at 01349 864 701.”

Residents should be advised that many different companies provide broadband service via a number of options in rural communities, and that the company 'recommended' by the MSP above is not endorsed by the Sleat Community Council or indeed the Community Trust.


It is expected that the event at SMO will be the start of a SCT feasibility study into BBS to which the SCC will doubtless wish to contribute.

David's paper is shown here