SHETLAND BROADBAND INSTALLS FIRST COMMUNITY FUNDED SUPERFAST BROADBAND TO WEST BURRAFIRTH
Shetland Broadband has just completed a project to design and build a wireless broadband link in West Burrafirth which allows residents to benefit from a superfast internet connection. The official ‘switch on’ event was held last night (Wednesday 1 May) at Engamoor in West Burrafirth.
Shetland Broadband was approached by the West Burrafirth Broadband Company – a group of residents who formed with the aim to resolve the slow internet connection speeds in the area. Thanks to securing ‘Awards for All’ lottery funding their aim has been met, with speeds increasing from 0.16 megabytes to 25 megabytes.
John White, Chairman of the West Burrafirth Broadband Company said: ’We are really pleased that we have been able get the funding and infrastructure in place to ensure our community can access fast broadband speeds similar to mainland UK. Shetland Broadband has been invaluable in their expertise in making this project a reality.”
Ian Brown of Shetland Broadband said: “It has been an excellent project to be involved in, and we are hoping that it is one that we might be able to help replicate in other communities across Shetland.”
The wireless broadband link uses antennas and masts to supply broadband rather than using phone lines. The physical installation work was completed by H Williamson of Scalloway and the link is powered by energy from a wind turbine in West Burrafirth. There is potential to extend the reach of the link in the future so there is the capacity for surrounding areas to access this fast connection.
West Burrafirth Broadband Company is the first community group to get connected to superfast broadband. A similar system was set up in Fetlar and Vidlin, but this was part of the Shetland Island Councils Shetland community broadband pilot programme.