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Bute gets broadband boost

Residents on the Isle of Bute are looking at ways to improve broadband services for all islanders, not just those living in the island’s main town of Rothesay.

Currently, islanders are awaiting details of plans to upgrade of the main town’s telephone exchange and the laying of an undersea fibre optic cable, according to reports by the local newspaper, the Buteman.

In the meantime, a group of residents and business owners are looking at ways to extend broadband coverage to those not covered by the BT upgrade.

The newspaper said that the Bute Rural Community Broadband Group (BRCBG) has consulted with Campbell Cameron, the Argyll, Lomond and the Islands adviser for Community Broadband Scotland on ways to enhance broadband connectivity to more remote parts of the island.

Anne Bissell of the BRCBG said that the organisation was initially going tot concentrate efforts on the area around Kingarth and Kilchattan Bay.

“Encouraged, however, by Community Broadband Scotland the group has widened its remit to extend to all rural areas of Bute, outside the town of Rothesay,” said Bissell.

“In November the group submitted a stage one project overview application to Community Broadband Scotland. This has recently been approved, so that the group can now proceed to issue a fully funded, stage two technical options appraisal tender document to interested parties to design the most appropriate system to deliver high speed broadband to rural Bute,” she told the publication.

Bissell and BRCBG chairman Tom Cromack will work together on a tender documents that is hoped will be completed within the next couple of weeks.

A report detailing technical appraisals of the options for extending broadband to rural areas is expected in early June.

Image: Geograph/William Criag

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