Some 40 homes on the remote Scottish island of Coll, which is home to around 200 people, have been left without broadband until at least Monday because Openreach engineers cannot reach the island safely by boat so to repair their niche. Cabinet network (WTTC). Some houses have now been offline for 3 weeks.
Between 2015 and 2018, Openreach succeeded in bringing capacity “up to” 80 Mbps “ultra-fast broadband” network to a number of remote communities by deploying their somewhat niche WTTC the solution. The configuration is similar to the most familiar Fiber to the office (FTTC/VDSL2), except instead of running a fiber optic cable to feed the local VDSL2 street cabinet with capacity, they run a line of sight (LOS) Microwave link.
According to the Press and Journal, Openreach’s wireless link to the Inner Hebrides island (which is believed to serve around a quarter of local properties), which originates from a radio station in Tobermory on Mull, broke down there a few weeks ago. The operator’s engineers were initially able to replace two of the “damaged” radio dishes on Thursday, but for some reason they were unable to restore service.
Openreach must now send a team of specialist engineers to go back and fix the problem, but the swell has made this difficult.
An Openreach spokesperson said:
“Due to lack of helicopter and ferry access, and the risk to private crossings due to swell, we are currently trying to secure a private plane, but this is not available until Monday. We are Sorry for the current outage and the impact on those affected.
Unfortunately, the article does not mention how Openreach’s infrastructure was damaged. The island only made the news recently for a very different reason, after a cat took a 100 mile round trip with one of Openreach’s engineers to visit the island (here).