New Project Bringing Wireless Broadband to Rural Parts of Angus

June 5, 2021 By

A new project between the Angus Council, SmartRural and UK ISP Rapier Systems in Scotland looks set to help bring “high speed broadband” connectivity to some of the county’s remotest rural residences and businesses via a new gigabit-capable Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network.

The new project forms part of the recently agreed Tay Cities Region Deal, which among other things included an investment of “up to” £1m for the Rural Angus Project (RAP). The original announcement said this would “focus on creating a solution to provide remote and rural properties with high quality wireless connectivity.”

The plan is designed to complement another commitment in the deal, which saw the UK Government invest up to £2m to develop both the above project and the Rural Perth and Kinross High Speed Broadband scheme. These projects will both enhance rural connectivity across the region and are supported by a further £5.9m via the Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) programme (i.e. building a gigabit Dark Fibre network to connect public sector sites, such as schools).

So far as we can tell, the RAP will aim to build out from the new fibre optic infrastructure by deploying a new fixed wireless network using links located on local farms (host farms will benefit from free broadband). The first phase of the project will target an area of over 100 square miles, serving local homes and businesses, and is scheduled to commence in early 2021.

In addition to free broadband, host farms will also be offered the opportunity to join the SmartRural network and deploy a range of smart IoT devices (most likely using a separate low power LoRaWAN wireless network), which could help them to run their businesses (e.g. weather stations, river level monitors, cold store thermometers, GPS tracking of livestock and machinery etc.).