Two very interesting Internet related announcements reached me this morning. The first one was a tweet from HIE Digital who wrote that "fibre roll-out is coming to Islay this year and will make a big difference to many". That's a very welcome development as we do have Broadband on Islay but the speed is sometimes terribly slow. There are folk in the more rural areas of Islay who have a less than 1.5Mbps download speed whereas most people in the villagse have around 5Mpbs. I know a few farmers with such a bad internet connection that they have to drive down a village to go online there and register their calves! For them, and most others who are on a 5Mpbs line, this is very good news indeed as speeds might increase up to 20Mbps, perhaps even more. For more info on this project and to find out when and if it's coming to you visit www.scotlandsuperfast.com
The second welcome internet related news item was the arrival of wifi onboard Calmac Vessels and in ports which was something many were waiting for. Of course, when you're a tourist and sail by ferry a couple of times a year you're probably not too bothered by wifi onboard your ferry. However, there are many others who use the ferry not only for pleasure and they will welcome this news. From this summer onwards they can use wifi and have internet onboard the Calmac Ferries and in the Ports they visit. The good news is that they will include Port Ellen and Port Askaig too as the latter is a notorious black-spot. Continue reading....
In a press-release Calmac wrote: Almost half of the 200-mile long Caledonian MacBrayne network is now live with free public access wifi – and the remainder will be completed in early July. In total, 88 vessels and land-based locations will be switched on. The programme has gathered rapid pace in the last two months and, by the time installation is complete, there will be wifi available in four offices, 31 vessels and 50 ports, harbours and slipways. The Islay vessels and ports will get wifi in the week commencing 20 June 2016.
“We are now almost halfway through the rollout programme for CalMac public access wifi,” said project manager Jim McKillop. “Already we have had some great feedback from communities involved and we are committed to rollout completion by early July. I’d like to thank everyone for their patience throughout this project – we’re under no illusion about the frustration with some of the delays which have occurred. But we are confident that the service which is being put in place is something which will be of significant benefit to communities and visitors alike.” A detailed planning of ports and ferries can be found here: www.calmac.co.uk/wifi-rollout.