This page is in draft.

Can I dispense with my land line?

Possibly. This depends on several factors. Firstly, your KCB connection will not be dependent on having a phoneline, supplied by us or anyone else. Secondly, we anticipate the broadband speed we provide will enable video and voice services, particularly Voice Over Internet Phones (VOIP) which can be used in the same way normal telephones are. You may need a new handset though. Thirdly, we hope to enable mobile phone operators use of our infrastructure thereby ensuring better mobile coverage in the area. Lastly, it is likely our masts will be off-grid, and therefore not subject to powercuts, which is one of the advantages of BT lines. We think therefore that replacing your BT line is viable.

What security will be put in place to protect my personal data?

KCB treat privacy and your personal data as of paramount concern and will not compromise it in any way. We will have more detail on this in due course.

Will backhaul have to be provided by BT?

Not necessarily. We will have a number of options with regard to backhaul. We will have more on this as we progress.

Can those who are in the BT fibre catchment area still sign up to the community service?

As of writing (Jan 2016) we are focussing on the not-spots (or rather not-swathes), however KCB is unlikely to discourage Applicants once the service is in place. Part of the funding arrangements means that our focus has to be on delivering Next Generation Broadband to those whom BT is not serving with their superfast service.

Will there be an option for businesses to have multi points?

Depending on who wins the contract to build and supply our infrastructure and backhaul, this may be possible. It is likely that we will specify an enhanced service for Business based around reduced contention ratios, higher usage allowances etc. We are committed to ensuring this service is fit-for-purpose for all users, now and in the medium to long term.

Will there be a mobile option for subscribers to log into when away from home?

KCB would like to provide public wifi throughout the area, accessible both for KCB users and also for members of the visiting public. We will also ensure all our services are mobile compliant (like this website) and that where we can we support the extension of 3G, 4G and eventually 5G coverage into the area.

How much is it going to cost?

Our basic residential user package will cost £30 per month. There may or may not be an initial connection fee, and that depends upon our service provider as well as the numbers of folk who signup.

Are subscription fees guaranteed not to rise?

KCB would want to ensure that subscription fees do not rise. Under the terms of the funding however, we might be forced to increase the monthly payment. Having said that, it is just as likely that the organisations which set the tarrif might revised the subscription downward.

Will there be a service for holiday makers, part time residents?

We anticipate (a) a generally available area-wide public wifi network will be available in the area covered by our network and (b) that we will be able to provide a lower cost subscription which has specific usage limits and speed restrictions for those that want it.

Will there be coverage where I live?

As a general rule of thumb, if you live in the areas covered by the Colintraive and Glendaruel Community Council, the Kilfinan Community Council and the Bute Community Council then you will be able to subscribe to our service.

Who is behind KCB?

Kyles Community Broadband was founded by a steering group which consists of residents of each of the three areas. Please see the About Us page. As an interim measure the Colintraive and Glendaruel Development Trust has acted as the competent legal body to make applications for grants, and also receive and administer the funding. CGDT has also provided capacity to take matters forward through its general manager, Margaret Shields.

When is it going to happen?

KCB hope to rollo out the programme over the next 12-18months finishing in early 2017. However, given our climate, topography and infrastructure things may take longer than this. More detail on the time line is available here.

What will happen to the profits?

As Charles Dixon-Spain says here, all profits will either be re-invested back into KCB, or if we are able to make a significant surplues, they will be used for community projects in the KCB area.

Does the subscription pay for repairs, renewals and upgrades?

Yes, that is the intention. But of course we need to maintain at least 70 subscribers to make the service sustainable in the long term.

How fast will the broadband speed be?

To begin with the basic residential subscription will deliver 15mbps. This will rise over time, and at present it is envisaged that the infrastructure will cope with speeds of up to 100mbps, or more.

How does it work?

We think the most likely solution will be a combination of microwave and wifi.

Therefore, utilising microwave primarily, connectivity will be provided to subscribers via a small dish on the exterior of their house from a network of telegraph-pole sized masts across the region. These in turn will be supplied with connnectivity from 2 or 3 larger masts which will connect to the internet proper, or the backhaul connection.

Does it have to be wi-fi and microwave?

Not necessarily, but the feedback we have thus far indicates that this is the most cost-effective solution, and balances immediate capability with long term viability - in terms of speed that is. It may be at the tender stage alternative options become available.

How many masts will be needed?

If we go for the microwave and wifi solution estimates have been between 18 and 50. In most cases these would be telegraph size poles, although a few may be a little larger.

Do I get a new email address?

If you use a service-oriented email, like yourname@btinternet.com or yourname@bt.com, you will indeed need to change your email address as it will be discontinued when you change over. We would recommend changing to another email provider as soon as possible if you intend to subscribe to our service - a free service like gmail, yahoo, hotmail would be perfect. Once our service is up and running we may be able to provide @kcb.scot email addresses as part of the package.

Will there be guarantees put in place about fixing faults?

We intend to operate a highly responsive, community service, and part of that will to be ensure that downtime is minimised. Once we have a chosen supplier we will be able to give more details about the type of contractual obligations we will enter into. Suffice to say we intend to ensure this service is an order of magnitude more responsive that present service providers.

Will there be a local office?

Given that KCB is a local organisation, it is likely that there will be a local base, but this is dependent on the service and how it is organised. Again it is our intention to be localised and present in the communities we serve.

Will local contractors have a chance to bid for some of the work?

Definitely. Part of the specification of our request for tenders will be that local individuals and firms be used as much as possible. We would also intend to ensure there is training for local installation and service engineers. Again all of this will depend on who wins the tender process in the next months.

How will speed be effected during peak times e.g. 4 – 6 pm?

The answer to this question depends upon contention ratios, ie. how many subscribers per connection there are. Typically, other services offer a 50:1 contention ratio, meaning that at peak times 50 people are sharing a broadband connection. We are specifying a 20:1 ratio for residential and a 10:1 for business. This should mean less of a drop in performance for the network at peak times. We will strive to ensure that we better these contention ratios and balance the service so that the service is much more responsive over the full 24 hours.