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sspeirs


Posts: 338
Joined: Mar 2008
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8th May 2020
Broadband Internet Access at the Scottish Snowsports Centres
Date Posted: 21.21hrs on Mon 29 Feb 16
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):

igloo4you Wrote:
Jabuzzard,

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:
igloo4you Wrote:
Chris H,

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.


alan Wrote:
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.


igloo4you Wrote:
Jabuzzard,

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.


alan Wrote:
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...




growwild


Posts: 3500
Joined: Oct 2005
Re: Broadband Internet Access at the Scottish Snowsports Centres
Date Posted: 21.40hrs on Mon 29 Feb 16
No questions here

I think you need a better connection!
sspeirs


Posts: 338
Joined: Mar 2008
Last Visited: 19:06
8th May 2020
Re: Broadband Internet Access at the Scottish Snowsports Centres
Date Posted: 21.44hrs on Mon 29 Feb 16
On to my questions ... please humour me as I know most answers will be "you wish" :-) I'm just trying to understand what is out there ,....

(1) It's been a while since I skied anywhere else but Glencoe. How is internet access at the other Scottish snowsports centres?

Which centres have ...
(a) 3G ?
(b) 4G
(c) WiFi with reasonable speed for browsing web/email/social media?
(d) WiFi that is capable of streaming video

(2) If say a mobile operator was able to offer 4G at the ski centres - let's not debate the feasibility or likelihood of this here just now - would that influence you to change your mobile service to that provider? (assuming you weren't with that particular mobile operator)

(3) From a resort perspective, what could the centres do with bandwidth if they had a decent speed. Andy's example of the SkiData system is one, credit card transactions another ... what else? Mobile app? Video streaming?! [WiFi covered in next question]

What have folks seen at ski resorts abroad that would require decent bandwidth?

(4) From a visitor perspective, would folks be happy with WiFi that supported
(a) decent email/social media browsing or
(b) would folks like to upload photos, and
(c) video clips
(d) or are you there for a slide only and don't care about internet access.

(5) Would ...
(a) Internet access at the base is all that is required, or
(b) Internet access on the slopes/in cafes be required (as is the case in resorts abroad)


I'm sure there are other questions I've forgotten, so I welcome any feedback on what would be good (expected) and what would be really good. I also expect some answers to be age dependent!

Again I'm not asking for a debate on feasibility. I'm just wondering what kind of demand is out there. And if you say, "I'd expect as good as I get at other businesses in our towns and cities" that's fine too as a summary.

Thanks for humouring me! (I work for a networking company, hence my interest)

alan


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9th Jul 2020
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Re: Broadband Internet Access at the Scottish Snowsports Centres
Date Posted: 23.12hrs on Mon 29 Feb 16
Getting 2.5mbit down and 4mbit up on AT&T at Kirkwood, but that might be getting throttled by Three UK cause stuff is routed through their UK network as my contract is valid here. Interestingly getting similar on guest wifi so maybe a shared pipe? Down slower than up maybe a symptom of congestion.

The infrastructure is able to support the Vail Resorts EpicMix system and RF passes, with real time tracking of lift usage available to guests via an app. We are frankly some distance from being able to support such stuff st the Scottish Areas, CML has had less than plane sailing with the higher speed wireless links back to Aviemore.

This place may have had the network connections to run its streaming webcam for over 13 years, but it's had its own issues from rural isolation from infrastructure. It cost $30m to put this place on the electricity grid, but it was financed through low interest loans from the state of California and US department of agriculture (the mountain belongs to the US Forest Service).




Edited 1 times. Last edit at 23.14hrs Mon 29 Feb 16 by alan.
veletron


Posts: 447
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21st Mar 2020
Re: Broadband Internet Access at the Scottish Snowsports Centres
Date Posted: 23.23hrs on Mon 29 Feb 16
CG: 4G poss with EE from CP all the way up to CG summit. Speed test at CG summit, 20Mbits down, 10up

GS: 3G with EE and Three 1 bar), 2G with the rest, about 1.5Mbits down, 1Mbit up. Cairnwell side+Maol, 2G elsewhere.

GC: 3G Three+EE, 2G rest (car park)

NR: 3G EE/Three (weak signal), 4G very week signal O2/Voda.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 23.24hrs Mon 29 Feb 16 by veletron.
growwild


Posts: 3500
Joined: Oct 2005
Re: Broadband Internet Access at the Scottish Snowsports Centres
Date Posted: 23.46hrs on Mon 29 Feb 16
If only Glencoe was like Kirkwood!

Maybe one day I'll hurt ma big toe up the coe and I'll be able to go online at the car park and order from the Glencoe 'Pure life collective' tae mend ma toe...

What's the mail like fae Kirkwood?
glenogle


Posts: 486
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1st Jun 2018
Re: Broadband Internet Access at the Scottish Snowsports Centres
Date Posted: 23.47hrs on Mon 29 Feb 16
Im on ee, generally find I have no signal when I'm up the hill, send and receive WiFi at one place on the hill. Previously got WiFi in plateau chateau but not during last few visits so don't know if that's changed.
alan


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Joined: Nov 1994
Last Visited: 10:48
9th Jul 2020
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: Broadband Internet Access at the Scottish Snowsports Centres
Date Posted: 02.42hrs on Tue 1 Mar 16
growwild Wrote:
If only Glencoe was like Kirkwood!


Well a Scottish guy I spoke to once on Chair 6 described Kirkwood as "Meall a' Bhuiridh on steroids, with some trees thrown in". tongue sticking out smiley

What's the mail like fae Kirkwood?


The pigeons struggle with the altitude over the Carson Pass, so it's been known for the US Mail Service to take over a week to get something the 34 miles from South Lake Tahoe to Kirkwood! eye rolling smiley
sspeirs


Posts: 338
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8th May 2020
Re: Broadband Internet Access at the Scottish Snowsports Centres
Date Posted: 11.57hrs on Tue 1 Mar 16
veletron Wrote:
CG: 4G poss with EE from CP all the way up to CG summit. Speed test at CG summit, 20Mbits down, 10up

GS: 3G with EE and Three 1 bar), 2G with the rest, about 1.5Mbits down, 1Mbit up. Cairnwell side+Maol, 2G elsewhere.

GC: 3G Three+EE, 2G rest (car park)

NR: 3G EE/Three (weak signal), 4G very week signal O2/Voda.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 23.24hrs Mon 29 Feb 16 by veletron.


Thanks for this. Very useful.

Any details on the Lecht?

Also, which of the snow centres have WiFi at the base station? (meaning WiFi without having to rely on your 3G/4G). I know Glencoe has but it's limited by the bandwidth available to Glencoe. Any have it in cafes up the hill? (I doubt it but worth asking)

thanks
growwild


Posts: 3500
Joined: Oct 2005
Re: Broadband Internet Access at the Scottish Snowsports Centres
Date Posted: 12.52hrs on Tue 1 Mar 16
alan Wrote:
The pigeons struggle with the altitude over the Carson Pass, so it's been known for the US Mail Service to take over a week to get something the 34 miles from South Lake Tahoe to Kirkwood!


I just had a vision of legions of med-air pigeons flying up the clyde winking smiley

Have a good yin ya lucky git!
CMartindale


Posts: 128
Joined: Aug 2014
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25th Jul 2019
Re: Broadband Internet Access at the Scottish Snowsports Centres
Date Posted: 17.21hrs on Tue 1 Mar 16
How useable is the EE 3G at Glenshee? Id be tempted to get a dongle or sim if it was decent.
veletron


Posts: 447
Joined: Feb 2006
Last Visited: 23:25
21st Mar 2020
Re: Broadband Internet Access at the Scottish Snowsports Centres
Date Posted: 22.59hrs on Tue 1 Mar 16
Dunno re lecht coverage maps and opensignal suggest 2G only. GC and CG have public wifi access. 3G works well enough at Glenshee, but when it fails it takes em eons to fix it. Antenna icing kills coverage. I have roof antenna and a MiFi



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 23.01hrs Tue 1 Mar 16 by veletron.
tim1mw


Posts: 698
Joined: Nov 2006
Re: Broadband Internet Access at the Scottish Snowsports Centres
Date Posted: 17.13hrs on Wed 2 Mar 16
sspeirs Wrote:
Any details on the Lecht?


I tried to get on line at The Lecht (sat in the cafe) a few weeks ago using EE. I had a reasonable mobile signal, but I couldn't get a data connection of any type to start up. On a side note, I'm sure I recall using a guest wifi at the Lecht last year, but there was no sign of it this year.

I wasn't able to get a data connection at GS either, Braemar was 2G only.

At Glencoe, I find the signal strength tends to get better as I move down the car park away from the cafe. I only get 2G in the cafe, but 3G in the hobbit homes.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 19.13hrs Wed 2 Mar 16 by tim1mw.
alan


Posts: 10697
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9th Jul 2020
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: Broadband Internet Access at the Scottish Snowsports Centres
Date Posted: 18.33hrs on Wed 2 Mar 16
At Glencoe, I find the signal strength tends to get better as I move down the car park away from the cafe. I only get 2G in the cafe, but 3G in the hobbit homes.


Because the roof drops so low relative to the actual cafe on the front of the building and is clad in metal sheeting it kills phone signals. You will get full signal on Three by the wood burner, but often nothing if sitting near the servery.

sspeirs


Posts: 338
Joined: Mar 2008
Last Visited: 19:06
8th May 2020
Re: Broadband Internet Access at the Scottish Snowsports Centres
Date Posted: 19.10hrs on Thu 10 Mar 16
The discussion here on WH inspired me to write a work-related blog on this topic, may help raise the profile of the issue a bit, maybe not

[blogs.cisco.com]

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