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Strathdearn Community Website

Strathdearn Community News

canine duellingSorry about the picture. I thought you said "canine duelling".

A9 DUALLING MEETING - THURSDAY 8th DECEMBER at 7.30 in the Funtack Room of the Strathdearn Hall

Mr Steve Byer from Mouchel, Mr John Macdonald from AMJV, and Mr Sam MacNaughton from Transport Scotland will attend to answer questions and discuss any concerns.

If you have concerns or questions, but are unable to attend the meeting, please contact a member of the Community Council or tel: 07887704915 so that we can raise these on your behalf.

After hearing all the concerns, and questions and answers, there will be further discussion at the Community Council meeting on !3th December at 7.30pm in the Hall, to help the Community Council make their response.

This event will once again be happening in Strathdearn Village Hall on Friday 2 December 7 pm - 8.30pm
Come along to look at model nativity scenes from around the world and share some refreshments.
Entry £2 for adults & 50p for children with the proceeds going to Maggie's Highland and Action for M.E.
Organised once more by Michelle Bryden.
Please come along and enjoy.

Moy BBAt a vote after the Cadispa report on Monday 14th November, Moy residents voted almost unanimously for Option 2 which is the BT Openreach option. In addition, there were 3-4 who could not make the meeting who also voted for option 2.

Option 2 – BT Openreach:

Strathdearn Community Developments has also been in touch with BT Openreach directly. The Openreach proposal would be to install 3 new Fibre cabinets subject to survey and planning agreement, one at Dalmagarry (delivering to properties estimated speeds between 1.6-60.2mbps) and 2 cabinets in Moy (24.7 –80.0mbps and 27.8 –42.6mbps).

The Openreach gap funded option will cost around £100K to implement. Although each property can claim up to £350 Better broadband vouchers. If we get every property to register, we could claim up to £17K off the total. Realistically it is likely that the total cost will be around £85K (£15K of vouchers). Openreach will own the network fully, therefore being future proofed and will continue to repair and maintain thereafter as they do today. This will take up to 1 year to implement as this will also have to go through planning and design process. There is no obligation on anyone to take fibre when it is in the village, but we anticipate a significant majority would want to access the benefits available from this opportunity.

The vote was organised by James Macpherson on behalf of Strathdearn Community Developments. James immediately contacted Robert Thorburn of BT Openreach to request that he begin implementing the scheme.

Moy residents are strongly encouraged to register for a Better Broadband voucher. The aim is to get as many properties as possible to sign up to help minimise the cost of this project for the community. It is important that even non-internet users register so our community can save the maximum amount of money. The vouchers have to be applied for as part of a scheme rather than on an individual basis. Victoria Cameron-Mackintosh of SCD is awaiting a call from a representative of the Better Broadband scheme who will tell us how and when to apply. She will then contact all Moy residents to assist them in registering for the vouchers.

Thanks are due to James for the tremendous effort he has put in to bring this about.

No A9 South aheadTHESE DECISIONS WILL DEEPLY INFLUENCE DAY-TO-DAY LIFE IN STRATHDEARN FOR DECADES TO COME.

Tomatin to Moy Project - Public Exhibition - Strathdearn Hall: Nov 14, 3pm - 8pm; Nov 15, 11am - 8pm

Transport Scotland will present their preferred option. They say the meeting is to consult with representatives of the community, implying that officially the junction options are not yet decided. Many Strathdearn residents expressed concern about a proposed partial or full closure of the Sloch junction onto the A9. The Community Council suggested reopening a section of the old A9 giving us a route south via Carrbridge. We do not yet know whether Transport Scotland have accepted this suggestion. Please attend and demonstrate to Transport Scotland that Strathdearn residents are very aware of the importance of these decisions and will fight for the best solution.

I have requested more information in advance of the meeting. Watch this space.

Moy residents should read this before attending the Cadispa presentation meeting on 16th November (see also "Important Meeting for Moy Residents" below).

Dear Moy Residents,

One of the main concerns brought up by Moy residents in the recent CADISPA Study is the poor broadband. The slow broadband is having a negative impact on both local business and family life as broadband becomes an ever more important utility.

Currently BT Openreach, the main service provider has no plans to upgrade Moy as part of the Digital Scotland Programme during the first Phase. Although BT is a private company, there are no plans identified that would provide a better level of speed from the existing network thus improving service and has no current service level obligation to address this.

There has been discussion at UK level of introducing a Universal Service Obligation on Broadband which would require every premise to have access to a minimum of 10mbps. This is yet to be agreed and there are no timelines on this.  Therefore whilst change in the future may happen it does  leave the question as to how the service will be improved in near future, and whether we be proactive in driving change ourselves or simply wait for future developments in the network.  

Strathdearn Community Developments have been exploring the various options.

Option 1 – a wireless solution:  
Community Broadband Scotland (CBS) is one of the main facilitators for delivering broadband to low population density areas where cost is prohibitive for private investment. A wireless system costs around £1,000-1,500 per property (to set up according to Scotnet) and the cost of the broadband per month will depend on the amount of subscribers and data customers are using. A wireless system would cost around £61,250 (based on 49 properties each paying £1,250) and would deliver speeds of around 20mbps (in order to keep system affordable). Up 89% of this could be funded through CBS, but this will require a thorough feasibility study and is likely to take 1-2 years before build commence.

Whilst the wireless solution is a cheaper solution it does require direct line of sight for the signal to work properly so trees and stormy weather can affect it, and users would not have the choice of network provider, so would have to stick with the community broadband service provider. The community would own the system but would also be responsible for maintaining and upgrading, although this can be contracted out to service providers such as Scotnet. Please also note if a community chooses community scheme.  Customers will remain able to have access to the existing ADSL broadband through Openreach, but currently speeds on this network are poor within the area.

Option 2 – BT Openreach: 
Strathdearn Community Developments has also been in touch with BT Openreach directly. The Openreach proposal would be to install 3 new Fibre cabinets subject to survey and planning agreement, one at Dalmagarry (delivering to properties estimated speeds between 1.6-60.2mbps) and 2 cabinets in Moy (24.7 –80.0mbps and 27.8 –42.6mbps).

The Openreach gap funded option will cost around £100K to implement. Although each property can claim up to £350 Better broadband vouchers. If we get every property to register, we could claim up to £17K off the total. Realistically it is likely that the total cost will be around £85K (£15K of vouchers). Openreach will own the network fully, therefore being future proofed and will continue to repair and maintain thereafter as they do today. This will take up to 1 year to implement as this will also have to go through planning and design process. There is no obligation on anyone to take fibre when it is in the village, but we anticipate a significant majority would want to access the benefits available from this opportunity.  

Strathdearn Community Developments’ Recommendation: 
Having done quite a bit of research on this, we believe fibre is the way forward and believe that having an open wired network is a good thing for allowing residents both choice of over 100+ service providers and reliability. Locals will also not need to worry about their neighbours bill potentially increasing if ever they wish to cancel their broadband service.

Eventually I would like to see every property connected-up to fibre to premises and the Openreach solution will go a long way towards doing this. This solution proposed from Openreach, allows future growth in the community for new homes or even being able to work from home, which currently is near impossible. Additional benefits would include having access to automatic network developments which will see speeds of anywhere between 300 to 500mbps being available as standard as the technology progresses.

However, this is a significant investment and Moy residents should carefully consider whether this is something they wish to back or not?

Strathdearn Community Council has arranged a meeting on 16th November at 7pm in the Strathdearn Hall at which CADISPA will make a Presentation to the Moy community on the Moy Survey Report.

Immediately after the close of this meeting, Strathdearn Community Developments will hold a further meeting to consider the Broadband issues further; following which Moy residents will be asked to vote.

Firstly, on whether you wish to make Broadband a top priority;  and if so:

Secondly, between Options 1 and 2 above.

Moy residents may also vote by e-mailing Vicky Cameron-Mackintosh on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. should you be unable to attend.  Please vote!

Reasons for urgency:
planning does take time (BT option which is the quickest solution could take around a year before fully operational) and the Better Broadband Deal grant support finishes on 31st December 2017 and A9 dualling plans could also potentially jeopardise plans, particularly at Dalmagarry. However, most importantly, urgency is required because businesses and residents in the Moy area are really suffering, so a solution needs to be found as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully,
James Macpherson
On behalf of Strathdearn Community Developments

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