News and Case Studies

Read news and articles on the progress of the superfast broadband rollout in Scotland and more.

Loch Ken Eco Bothies no longer in the dark

Thursday, 06 April 2023

The Loch Ken Eco Bothies and Galloway Activity Centre sit on the edge of the Galloway Dark Sky Park in the South of Scotland.

While visitors can indulge in a mix of water sports, star-gazing or kick back in a hot tub and enjoy views of the rolling hills, digital connectivity has proved a challenge, until now.

Richard Hermon, Director of the Loch Ken Eco Bothies and Galloway Activity Centre takes up the story:

“The business has been running since 1998 and to be honest, I really don’t know now that we’ve got broadband how we managed. We were running on 0.5 Megabits per second (Mbps) download speeds, which is slower than the old dial up. When it came to do the pay round, I’d have to pack up a laptop and go to the local pub to be able to do the pay. And online booking was just impossible.”

Richard engaged with Fibairo, a registered supplier to the R100 Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (SBVS) and used funding from the scheme to install a new superfast broadband service.

Richard added: “Having broadband which just works has completely transformed us. We’re now taking bookings online… it’s been amazing, and it’s really helped the business grow and flourish.”

Please accept marketing-cookies to watch this video.

Richard and Mark explain the benefits of the new broadband connection.

Innovative solutions for a rural setting

Given the rural nature of the business – which is flanked by water, trees and hills – an innovative solution was needed which entailed using TV white space to supply a superfast connection of over 30 Mbps.

Mark Wheeler, CEO of Fibairo said: “We work with some very unique technologies to deal with the rural problems around trees and hills, and reaching those properties that need connecting.

“Working with the R100 Team has helped with funding the capital expenditure of installing that infrastructure. It’s not been an easy environment to work in but that help from the community and the R100 Team enabled us to make this area feasible.”

The real value of broadband access

Bringing superfast broadband to Scotland remains one of the most ambitious infrastructure programmes in Europe. The R100 programme continues to help eligible homes and businesses access faster broadband and as Richard explains, it can have a lasting economic benefit.

“As we came out of COVID, if we didn’t have broadband, we would have been absolutely stuffed. But last year we were up to one of the busiest seasons we’ve ever had since we’ve been operating. That would not have happened without broadband and anyone that runs a business will understand that.”

Enter your postcode into our online address checker to see if your home or business is eligible for the R100 Scottish Broadband Voucher scheme or is due to receive access to faster broadband through the R100 contracts or ongoing commercial build.

Find out more about the Loch Ken Eco Bothies, Galloway Activity Centre and Fibairo.