Introduction, Charles Dixon-Spain, KCB

from Charles Dixon-Spain, KCB chair and chair of the Colintraive and Glendaruel Development Trust

As someone with 13.8km between my home and the exchange, I am typical of the broadband user who has been left behind by BT fibre roll-out, and I am therefore very keen to make KCB work, and work well.

The program for this meeting is as follows:

  • I’ll introduce the project at a high level, including how we came about as a group, the principles we’ll adhere to as a community servie and how we’re going to organise ourselves
  • Campbell Cameron will introduce us to the wider content and

Graham Curran will give us a detailed presentation on where we are now, where we are going and some indications on how we might achieve it.

As early as 2008 the board of the Development Trust realised improved Broadband essential to Colintraive & Glendaruel.

But only in the last two years have conditions for project in place.

With the advent of CBS & BDUK in partnership with HIE Scottish Government the conditions are now right to move forward.

As we began to engage with this new government program CBS asked us and the communities around us to consider a tripartite project to achieve a sustainable scale. The communities initially included ColGlen, Bute & the Community Council area of Kilfinan, which includes Kames and Tighnabruaich.

CGDT volunteered to stand as the competent legal entity, providing

  • development capacity through Margaret Shields
  • and the administrative and financial organisation to carry the project through its initial stages

In the next few weeks a Community Interest Company or CIC will be formed, with the present steering group becoming its first board.

The intention is to provide:

  • fit for purpose connectivity which is future-proofed
  • in an entirely transparent and inclusive way
  • charging a reasonable fee to do so
  • and reinvesting any profits in the service itself or in the communities it serves.

We have committed to 100% coverage, meaning that if our initial solution doesn’t include a last 2% we will find a way to bridge the gap. No-one gets left without Next Generation Broadband.

And we will do all this over the next 12-18 months.

This evening we want to give you as much details as we can, we want to answer your questions and we’d like to get your email addresses if you are interested, either as a subscriber or as someone who might be interested in choosing the community option if the BT service doesn’t fulfil its early promise.

Lastly, we now have a website where you can keep up with news and signup to our newsletter.

We need as many people as possible to signup to our newsletter, to express their interest because these numbers will make the project viable in the long term.

Now after that introduction we’ll move onto Campbell.