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Author Topic: Northern Orkney Isles Hope for Openreach Radio Broadband Upgrade  (Read 316 times)

Bowdon

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Northern Orkney Isles Hope for Openreach Radio Broadband Upgrade
« on: September 14, 2018, 04:06:07 PM »

https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2018/09/northern-orkney-isles-hope-for-openreach-radio-broadband-upgrade.html

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The remote rural Orkney islands, specifically the tiny isles of Papay and North Ronaldsay, could be about to see an improvement to their dire local broadband ISP speeds after Openreach (BT) reportedly agreed to at least “investigate the practicalities” of delivering faster connectivity to the area via a new wireless link.

A significant chunk of mainland Orkney has already benefited from the regional Digital Scotland project with Openreach, which has enabled the island to move away from an old Microwave link and instead deploy superfast broadband via the operator’s Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC / VDSL2) network (this is supplied by a new sub-sea fibre optic link).

The aforementioned network covers around 75% of homes and businesses (8,500 premises) via 54 new street cabinets, but it doesn’t reach everywhere. For example, the two outlying islands of Papay and North Ronaldsay continue to complain of both unstable connectivity and speeds that struggle to deliver more than 0.5Mbps.

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    Liam McArthur, Orkney’s MSP, said (The Orcadian):

    “It has been suggested to me that radio links could be established quite easily and cost-effectively for both Papay and North Ronaldsay. While this may not achieve the same speeds as some other options, it may at least offer the benefit of a solution in the nearer future. I welcome the fact that BT has agreed to investigate the practicalities of installing radio links.”
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Weaver

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Re: Northern Orkney Isles Hope for Openreach Radio Broadband Upgrade
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2018, 11:01:06 AM »

I think they are trying to say Papa Westray. There are lots of Papays. There is one near Bearnaraigh na Hearadh for example. But there is not a simple unqualified one in Orkney.

Papa Westray is incredibly close to Westray, the flight between the two is the shortest flight in the world, 100 s, and the landing place on Papa Westray is just a cow field. I once sat on Westray and watched the plane doing the little jump across from Papa Westray to Westray, or the other way round, can’t remember which direction it was on that occasion.

I flew in to North Ronaldsay once, from Sanday. Cows had been evicted from the field though, luckily. North Ronaldsay is the most remote and northernmost of the Orkney Islands. You can see Fair Isle to the north in the far distance if you are very lucky. (But you can’t see Shetland. (I doubt if that is ever remotely possible.)
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Weaver

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Re: Northern Orkney Isles Hope for Openreach Radio Broadband Upgrade
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2018, 11:07:20 AM »

Sorting out Papa Westray is ridiculously easy, because it is so close to Westray. And if Westray itself has decent bandwidth available then there is a major part of your answer. I would have thought it would not cost the absolute earth to run a cable across the short channel between the two. But there are only a few people on Papa Westray, is the bean counter might well favour a line of sight link. To get to North Ronaldsay, the link from Sanday is not too far, and it is not a million miles from Papa Westray either. I can seen why again the bean counters would favour a microwave link from Sanday rather than a cable. I cannot imagine there is any chance of a direct link from North Ronaldsay to any serious connectivity at Kirkwall way way to the south, because it is over the horizon I am fairly sure.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 01:18:29 PM by Weaver »
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j0hn

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Re: Northern Orkney Isles Hope for Openreach Radio Broadband Upgrade
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2018, 12:01:50 PM »

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But there is not a simple unqualified one in Orkney

If you asked anyone from Orkney where Papay was they wouldn't correct you.
It is referred to as Papay by the islands inhabitants.
The MSP quoted in the article was born and raised on the nearby island of Sanday.

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I would have thought it would not cost the absolute earth to run a cable across the short channel between the two

https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2014/06/bt-subsea-fibre-optic-cables-begin-connect-rural-west-scotland.html

Gives some idea on the costs involved.
No doubt it would eventually be covered by R100 but that doesn't guarantee not using radio links either.

Would be a hell of a lot cheaper if they let old Jim pull the cable into place on his tug boat.
Unfortunately it needs done by the book and OpenReach will insist on hiring a huge deep sea cable laying ship and a "hoe" to bury the cable.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 12:04:04 PM by j0hn »
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