In this video, David Johnston describes how the lack of effective broadband provision in the rural area of Balquhidder, Scotland, motivated the inhabitants to build their own network. They set up “Balquhidder Community Broadband”, a community interest company, and took on the physical task of laying down the infrastructure to bring 1 Gbps connectivity their area. This is a great example of a community-led project, combining funding sources (including LEADER), reducing costs, and putting EU funding to good use to bring high-speed broadband – and all its advantages – to a rural area.

The project reduced the costs of laying down the infrastructure through the involvement of volunteers and locally-owned equipment. Balquhidder Community Broadband intends to further reduce the network’s running costs through economies of scale from aggregation with other users.

Members of the community greatly anticipate the improvements the network will bring, including better quality of life for the local population, and the increase in tourism and business opportunities that will result from being able to offer access to a reliable high-speed internet connection.

Read more about this project in the European Commission database of good practices in broadband projects, and visit the Balquhidder Community Broadband website for further information.

This video is part of a series on broadband roll-out in Europe produced for the European Network of Broadband Competence Offices (BCO Network).

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