Hybrid Solutions for Machrie

Machrie is the only area on Arran which has - so far - been specifically ruled out of fibre broadband rollout.

Whilst this is extremely disappointing for those residents and businesses in Machrie, this has resulted in an opportunity to employ newer/pioneering technologies and approaches in order to provide the Machrie area with adequate connectivity.  As of July 2016 there has been significant progress...

Updated 20/9/16 by David Price, local resident and ConnectArran Steering Group Member…

High speed broadband has arrived in Machrie!

Machrie is one of the areas on Arran not served by BT`s high speed fibre optic broadband network (nor likely to be in the near future). Machrie covers a large physical area, but the population density is very low.

Although ‘broadband’ is available in Machrie the maximum speeds available are 0.5Mbps and unsuitable for many day-to-day activities, both social and business, in today`s digital age.

As part of its aim to facilitate providing better digital connectivity Connect Arran has been working with broadband provider Broadway Partners to bring wireless high speed broadband to Machrie, and initial discussions with local householders and businesses began in Spring 2016.

The technology involves installing wireless transmitters on selected houses to cover the whole of Machrie, although the Shiskine valley is also included because of its strategic location. Infrastructure installation by Broadway Partners began in June and the first installation was completed on June 21st. To-date there are now 25 houses receiving wireless broadband from the Arran Broadband Company, a company specifically set up by Broadway Partners to provide the service to Arran. All that is needed to receive this service is a small receiving dish, a bit like a TV dish, only much smaller as shown in the photo below and a new router. Both are provided by the company and an installation grant is available from the Government, so the installation is effectively free.

As well as the social and business benefits being realised with the high speed broadband installations, Ian Adamson from Kilmory has been appointed as Broadway Partner`s Arran manager, and Arran telecoms installer Joe Faulkner from Shiskine now installs the broadband equipment – so the local economy is being helped in a number of ways.  Many more houses and businesses are in the pipeline for installation, not only in Machrie, but there are now four in Shiskine with plans to roll the service out in a phased way to Arran`s south end. There is also significant business interest in other parts of Arran too.

Click here for more information about Arran Broadband, set up by Broadways Partners to deliver WhiteSpace technology to Machrie and beyond…