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By Mark Davey
Imagine a world where it is possible to watch movies online in rural Kintyre without buffering.
With Craine Communications Ltd’s Back of Beyond Broadband (BOB) run by technical wizard, Stuart Craine, that world has arrived.
Mr Craine, who started attracting Oban customers to BOB in 2016, spoke to the Courier, about speeds of between 25Mbps and 100Mbps, from his MACC mast based dish last Friday.
The former Navy communications expert, spent seven years with BT, before striking out on his own.
He has turned the world of high speed broadband on its head with his fixed point, line of sight dishes offering high speeds in remote locations often not served by BT or only on satellite at prohibitive cost.
Mr Craine said: ‘The goal is to provide a BT esque product for people who cannot get a fixed line service.
‘From Monday we offered a full 360 degreee coverage from out transmitter on the MACC mast and could cover the whole of Sound of Kintyre immediately’
Initially Mr Craine intends to concentrate on outlying areas. He said that with just two relay dishes, from MACC, the system could extend to Peninver and cover part of Campbeltown on the way.
‘MACC has been really helpful and understands the whole local side of the project as it is keen to help the community.’
In addition to providing superfast broadband Mr Craine hopes to eventually offer employment for up to six apprentices round Argyll and Bute who would become the service team.
There is a £200 set up cost which includes the dish, all cabling and installation of the home hub style router plus connection to home computers.
There are two monthly packages, which include symmetrical upload and download speeds with no data limit: Wee BOB at £20 per month with a service capped at 25 Mbps and Big BOB at £30 per month for up to 100 Mbps.
The scheme opens many possibilities and one initiative, paid for by Bid for Oban, using his system, has seen a two square mile area of Oban covered by blanket wireless. This allows tourists to use their mobiles at superfast speeds for upload and download.
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