Been following the debate in the Glencoe 2016 thread about the implications of poor internet access speeds ... got a few questions about this topic in general across the 5 Scottish ski areas. First here is a collection of some of the comments (to save folks who haven't been following this from trawling through multiple pages):
We currently have laid new fibre across the mountain this summer and have great internal communication but unfortunately our adsl lines connect at a speed just above the old dial up. Our main phone line suffers from bad interference, our satellite broadband is sporadic at best and our back up mobile broadband gets swamped when we get busy. Having an online system when we cannot rely on being able to connect to the outside world would be a disaster. We plan to introduce an online solution but cannot do so until BT upgrade the exchange and we have a robust and reliable internet connection. Unfortunately that does not look like happening any time soon. Until then a new extra cash window is the best we can do.
Through the marketing group Ski Scotland the centres co-operate on a lot already, all area passes, trinum, websites, video, marketing, promoton etc.
Edited 1 times. Last edit at 13.35hrs Fri 19 Feb 16 by igloo4you.
Chris H Wrote:
When we can't even rely on our card machines working and sometimes can't get e-mails we would worry that up to date data would not be getting to the control gates. We have seriously explored the situation but until our internet is more robust decision was made to put it on the back burner. Definitely something we want to do.
Understood Andy, that's a real shame that in this day and age you can't get a reliable, let alone fast, internet connection. Having good internet access is a building block for any successful business these days and after all the promises over the years for better rural broadband someone at HIE/BT/Scottish Government should feel ashamed of themselves that you are struggling like you are. Hoping the situation improves for you, though not sure it will any time soon.
Going more O/T :p
Having good internet access is a building block for any successful business these days and after all the promises over the years for better rural broadband someone at HIE/BT/Scottish Government should feel ashamed of themselves that you are struggling like you are.
There was an HIE orgranised meeting about broadband provision in rural Lochaber recently in Fort William, incidentally on the day of storm Henry that crumpled Glencoe's TooWay dish and caused a line fault that also took down the ADSL. There are a good number of businesses in a similar situation who are really struggling, even basic business functions now require a decent internet connection.
There's no doubt the rollout being funded by the SG through HIE is transforming connectivity for many rural areas, but the meeting in Fort William highlighted to clear shortcomings in the criteria used to set targets for the project:
1. Firstly, no account of need on the basis of the inadequacy or total absence of current broadband.
2. Targets based on properties, but not taking account of what these properties are used for. 3 houses would count for more than a 30 bedroom hotel or a caravan park or in Glencoe's case a Ski Area - thus no account of the number of people who may at a given location trying to get online.
Point 1 is probably the most critical, because where the target is to get 'next generation' broadband speeds to X% of properties the inevitable outcome is the easy pickings are done first. The result been those who already have semi acceptable internet get high speed internet, while those who have next to nothing are left with next to nothing.
I lived and worked in Kirkwood, CA in the past and the 'Cornice Cam' on that webpage is the same camera as 10 years ago. They've had a streaming webcam since 2003 or 2004, there still isn't the infrastructure to support sufficiently fast unmetered internet access for such a camera at a usable resolution at any of the Scottish Snowsport Areas. (Well at CairnGorm and Nevis Range Three might just be able to support it, but the cost would be astronomical).
We are that far behind, quite a few people have asked why are the webcam images from Glencoe lower resolution on this site than the others and that's simply down to the fact sometimes it's a struggle to get 640x480 stills out.
Edited 1 times. Last edit at 18.28hrs Fri 19 Feb 16 by alan.
We don't have a reliable connection at all, so some days what you suggest would work fine, other days we are operating almost blind and cannot even send e-mails or process credit card payments. We have a system in mind which will deliver what you suggest but are not prepared to make the investment until we get broadband and phone connection to the outside world more robust.
Clearly you did not actually read my posts. The point was a bare 2G GPRS connection has sufficient bandwidth to enable a system to be developed and deliver a good service to the customers. No need for 4G, no need for 3G and no need even for a 2.5G EDGE for that matter.
Notionally yes, but the Vodafone and O2 GPRS on Rannoch Moor is almost permanently unusable - due to a long section of the A82 with no coverage at all to the South, as soon as devices pick up a signal they are trying to get data through, far far more than there is capacity for.
Three provides a reasonable speed - when working but it's not robust enough, the local mast is particularly prone to outages by weather and is regularly overwhelmed when Glencoe is even moderately busy, leading to no service at all.
A point to point wireless link has nowhere to go in a single hop, it would be a minimum of 3 hops to get it terminated on a decent connection and that would need to start from the Summit and without off-grid hops the options are very few. Meall a' Bhuiridh is surrounded by mountains of similar or greater height, blocking direct RF propagation to locations with a fast internet connection.
There is a meeting of local businesses from outlying areas around Glencoe taking place tomorrow, but again the topography is a major obstacle to a community RF based soltuion.
.. so that's some of the key points. See next post for my questions...