Ewes Valley Broadband
Dumfries & Galloway
Allison Little
24 April 2013
Allison Little
• Why am I here?
– Moved in with family two years ago (2 school
age children, 1 at university)
– Before house purchased, called BT who said
Broadband was available
– 6 months for BT Executive complaints to find
out BB supply to my house was impossible
(mechanical exchange)
The Ewes Valley
• South of Scotland,
north of Langholm
A7 trunk road runs up
100 residents – 65 to
70 properties
9 miles long;
Head of the Ewes
Water catchment that
flows into the Solway
1 Church, 1 Village Hall
The Ewes Valley
• Houses are
predominantly in
the bottom of the
narrow and
winding valley
• Hills rise steeply
on both sides to
about 500m
• Predominantly
sheep farming
with small
woodland /
shelterbelt areas
• Some holiday lets
Existing Broadband
• Valley is on Mechanical Phone Exchange
• Some residents &
business’ have Avanti /
Tooway Satellite Broadband.
• Very expensive
and has long latency
Better Broadband. 2013 • Residents & Businesses would like a
service which is:
– not restricting –(monthly quota: Skype,
– competitively priced
– reliable & flexible
– self financing
– future proof
Where are we now?
• Previously:
– Initial community meeting in Langholm – Director of
BT Scotland, David Mundell MP, Vice President of NFU
Scotland, South of Scotland Alliance, local councillors,
residents all present. (little support voiced from BT)
– South of Scotland Alliance arranged for Funding (sp.
Peter Irving)
– Publicised in local press
– Follow up Meeting – Processes and Options. Clive
Downing presented community with route to BB
supply. Noted various options (infrastructure /
company setup vs existing company)
Where are we now? Continued…
• Committee formed and valley surveyed to map
interest (Yes/No/Maybe; Residential/Business).
GIS map → CBS
• No obvious solution from initial mapping (but
still very useful)
• Technical Survey – CBS organised funding and
engineers – made very easy for us.
The Technical Survey Visit
• 3 days scheduled
• Initial meeting with CBS, engineers and reps. from valley.
Discuss timetable/areas for the visit
Visit backhaul supply
Test Clive’s fitness!
On the ground survey – photograph valley, analyse for lines of sight
Completed in 2 days
• Knowledgeable engineers assisted by residents/famers
• Known outcome to date – some casualties and Wireless System on 3 masts
• Awaiting report/results from visit
Next Steps
• Engineers Report – committee and CBS meet in Ewes
• Decide on course of action – implement the system
planning permissions
landowner permissions
Ground works
tendering process (run concurrently?)
setup and installation of technical equipment
• Throughout the process keep community/landowners informed of progress
via hand delivered note or community meetings – local press?
Points for discussion
• Future proof – Langholm specific?
• Local employment/trades – community project, can it be
about more than just BB?
Press – what to say and when – distortion may cause
Landowners – what to say and when. Big vs small? How
to work with unhelpful landowners?
Costs – Schedule of costs through project. How much is
Infrastructure – tendering process, future maintenance,
ongoing CBS relationship with BB supplier?
Initial Survey Results
• Free GIS software
– QuantumGIS