Rural Stormontfield Campaign Results in Faster Wireless Broadband


Some 40 properties in the rural village of Stormontfield (Perth and Kinros, Scotland) can finally access a “superfast broadband” ISP connection, which comes after a local campaign resulted in Broadway Partners deploying a new hybrid fibre optic and fixed wireless network across the community.

The community of Stormontfield is particularly interesting because it sits in an area of outstanding natural beauty next to the River Tay, with the much larger and better connected village of Luncarty being on the opposite side (the latter is quite well covered by Openreach’s FTTC network). The city of Perth is roughly 5 miles to the south.

Sadly Stormontfield’s position means that it’s long suffered from slower broadband speeds of around 1-2Mbps via ADSL technology and has so far been largely ignored by the on-going Digital Scotland (DSSB) project with BT, which is partly because such an upgrade was predicted to cost into the high tens of thousands of pounds or possibly more.

However all of that has now changed after the Stormontfield Community Association (SCA) worked with the county council and Broadway Partners (Broadway Broadband) to develop an alternative network. The latter has recently been deploying their TV White Space (TVWS) based fixed wireless broadband network into other parts of the county (e.g. around Loch Leven).

Michael Armitage, MD of Broadway Partners, said (The Courier):

“Broadway was delighted to be asked to design a solution to Stormontfield’s broadband needs and, with help from Perth and Kinross Council and with support of the community, has delivered a high-speed network, using a mix of fibre and state-of-the-art radio technology.”

Sadly we don’t know the exact details or cost of Broadway Partners network setup in the village, although it seems highly likely to be using the same mix of TVWS and 5GHz wireless links as seen elsewhere (supplied by a high capacity fibre optic link). TVWS technology harnesses the gaps that exist between radio spectrum in the Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV) bands in order to distribute a data signal over a wide coverage area.

Residential packages on this network tend to offer average download speeds of 30Mbps (5Mbps upload) and unlimited usage from £29.99 a month on a 24 month contract (£35 on a 12 month contract). The cost of installation is subject to survey, although generally you either pay £240 one-off or £120 upfront and then pay off the rest at £12 per month for 10 months.

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