Rural villages win super-fast broadband funding

Neighbouring East Linton and Garvald & Morham Community Council have landed funding which will allow them to develop super-fast, next-generation broadband for their communities — residents who previously had very slow or no service at all.

Leader funding secured for super-fast broadband in parts of rural East LothianThe initial plan is to roll out a 20Mbps service to the communities and businesses of East Linton, Garvald, Morham, Gifford and most of the areas in between. That’s a full 12Mbps faster than the very best connections most people in rural East Lothian can ever hope to get at the moment.

The story began in 2004 when locals in Garvald were told by BT that their exchange would not be broadband enabled. Similarly the Morham area were told their telephone lines would not be upgraded to receive broadband from the Haddington exchange. That prompted residents and businesses within the Garvald & Morham community to seek funding from Leader Plus and East Lothian Council to set up a community wireless broadband service. The community won the funding, operating a 2Mbps service since June 2005.

Now, despite upgrades to the local telephone exchanges covering these areas, many residents get very poor broadband when relying on connections over the telephone network. This was why members behind the current community system, run by a sub-committee of the Garvald and Morham Community Council, sought to secure new Leader funding to roll out a much faster service to residents.

That application has been a success, meaning that wireless high-speed broadband will be coming to rural parts of East Lothian that otherwise would have been left in the information age’s slow lane for some time to come.

Congratulations to the team in Garvald and Morham Community Council for showing what can be done when there’s the will and determination to make it happen. The plans will give these otherwise cut-off communities the ability to reliably use bandwidth-hungry services like the BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Skype video-calling and streaming music. It will also make it practical for local and home-based businesses to continue to thrive outside of well-serviced urban centres.

Q. Would you be interested in receiving super-fast wireless broadband in or around Pencaitland and nearby catchment villages if it was available? Please take part in a very short survey and let us know.

Further Reading
Garvald and Morham Community Proposal.

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