Dumfries businesses lose out over lack of superfast broadband

More than twelve million pounds is being invested by Dumfries and Galloway Council to speed up the roll-out of superfast broadband. The authority hopes that 100% of all homes and businesses will be connected by 2021. But a business, just ten minutes outside of Dumfries, has spoken out about losing customers due to a lack of internet access.

The Mabie House Hotel is unable to take bookings online because the internet connection isn’t fast enough. The hotel’s manager has criticised the council for not moving quick enough when it comes to providing superfast broadband. People nowadays like to book online there and then they don’t want to sort of go on the website and then have to phone up. We’ve got to do this and we’ve got to do that…they just want to book there and then so it sort of becomes oh we’ll not go there because I’m too busy.”

– Phillipa Proudlock, Manageress, Mabie House Hotel

The owners of Mabie House Hotel can’t get any wifi on site so they set up their broadband hub further down the road with a neighbour. But if the wifi goes down for any reason, they have to wait for that neighbour to come home and reset it.

It means they sometimes go for hours without any internet. At first it wasn’t really an issue because broadband wasn’t a big thing back then.”

We lose on business contracts, basically because we have no broadband wifi so when they come back to the hotel they can’t do their emails they can’t do their work. It’s really quite embarrassing.”

– Phillipa Proudlock, Manageress, Mabie House Hotel

Nationally the average download speed is 23.4 megabits per second. The average broadband speed in the Scottish Borders is just 14.7 megabits per second. Cumbria is above the average at 26.1 megabits per second. The speed is even better in Dumfries and Galloway where it’s 27.3 megabits per second. However, that speed can only be accessed at three quarters of homes and business.

I think in a rural economy our businesses need to be able to compete. You can’t compete without the infrastructure of broadband. You can’t sell the fabulous products we’ve got unless you can reach the customers in their homes and across Europe and the world.

– Gavin Stevenson, Chief Executive, Dumfries and Galloway Council

Free event of stargazing at Glentrool

A friendly family event, a free stargazing evening, is being organised as part of the British Science Week on 12th March. One will have the opportunity to learn more about the moon, the stars and the solar system in this event being led by one of the Biosphere Dark Sky Rangers, Elizabeth Tindal. The event will be hosted at the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere there. It will be also be at Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park. Elizabeth Tindal will be helping everyone to get a good look with her astro binoculars at the new crescent shaped moon, besides the dark sky filled with stars to gaze. There will be a chance to discuss about stars and the importance of Earth in the Universe. A small fire will help to bake some damper bread or toast marshmallows. Those interested in joining the free event1 should wear warm clothing and can meet at 7:00pm at the premises of Glentrool Old School, Glen Trool, Dumfries and Galloway. To know more, call Elizabeth Tindal on 01671820814.

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  1. ^ free event (