"A confusing situation" is probably the best description of where we are at the moment.
BT/OpenReach (on the Scotland Superfast website (https://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/where-when/) say some of the valley should get Superfast broadband between July 2017 and December 2017. This is a delay of 6 months on what they were saying a couple of weeks ago.
Great, but disappointing that it has been delayed !!
However, this conflicts with what they've told Community Broadband Scotland (CBS) in the recent Open Market Review where they reported that there are no plans for BT/OpenReach to bring Superfast Broadband into the Borthwick Water Valley in the next 3 years ?! You may recall that the Ettrick and Beyond superfast broadband community project has to go through lots of hoops to be eligible for aid from Public Money. The first hoop is an Open Market Review (OMR) where we lay out our project and ask suppliers (BT/OpenReach) to comment on what their commercial plans are for bringing Superfast Broadband to the project area.
The second hoop is a 4-week long stage called State Aid Public Consultation (SAPC) which gives everyone (the public, BT, other suppliers, councils, government) time to review the OMR and make comment. In theory, this is a period in which BT could amend their declared intentions for Superfast Broadband.
The results of the OMR and the SAPC document can be viewed by selecting "B4GAL, Durisdeer and Ettrick State Aid Consultation - October 2016" at this webpage :- http://tinyurl.com/ettricksapc
So, although it may seem like a 4-week delay to the project, not only is it a necessary step in getting public funding, Callum Hay (the project's leader at present) has been using the time to develop a structure for the project that will see it through to completion. He believes a 3-team approach would be beneficial and he has experience of this setup working with similar projects.
The 3 teams are as follows :-
Steering Group - A team that anyone can join to help "steer" the project in the right direction.
Project Board - A team of 6 key stakeholders (3x community representatives, CBS representative, local business representative) able to make quick decisions and keep the project on task.
Project Team - A team of 2 (plus project manager) that will carry out most of the work required.
With the exception of the project manager role, all the members of the above team will be volunteers. The project manager role is by far the most time-consuming and it was felt that this role should be a paid role to ensure the project keeps on track.
So, we need volunteers and we need them now. If you could spare some time to help the project and could join one of the teams, then please get in touch with me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Here are the envisaged time requirements for each team :-
Steering Group - Regular Meetings (monthly, or bi-monthly) and Email updates with ad-hoc input needed.
Project Board - 2 to 4 days per month for 6 to 12 months
Project Team - 1 to 2 days per week for 6 to 12 months
If you'd like more details on any of the teams, please feel free to call me on the number below.
This call for help has already been circulated 2 weeks ago to everyone who receives the electronic newsletter as there was a deadline for volunteers to step forward. But more volunteers are needed, so if you can help, please get in touch. I'm sure late volunteers will be welcomed with open arms !
Thank you !