Broadband Survey

Broadband Survey – Pencaitland/New Winton/Glenkinchie Area

Because of the variable speed and quality of broadband available in and around the village of Pencaitland and other outlying communities Pencaitland Community Council has been investigating alternatives to the conventional Internet Service Providers who all connect you to the web through a telephone line connected to the Pencaitland BT exchange.

The alternative would be a wireless high speed system, giving coverage to homes and businesses in the area via a small external wireless receiver/transmitter on your house or office which can attach to your existing TV aerial.

Costs of the infrastructure would be met partly by grant funding, and it is anticipated that monthly costs to subscribers would be comparable to current ISPs, although with significantly greater speeds.

Your help in completing this survey will allow us to assess demand in your area and undertake further technical surveys to determine the feasibility of offering the improved service to everyone… even the more remote households.

If you would like to be kept informed of the progress of this plan for the village please provide your email address (which of course will not be passed to any third parties).

9 thoughts on “Broadband Survey”

  1. Hi Mark

    Could not agree more.

    The telephone exchange in Pencaitland has been stuck on ADSL Max (meant to give up to 8MBps – in ideal conditions) since 2006.

    When it first went in far fewer people were relying on broadband services, so what was on offer was spread amongst a smaller number requiring much less bandwidth and data. Since then however a lot more people have come online and the range of services we are all wishing to use has expanded exponentially.

    Today there are multiple devices in many households – just thinking of my own we have an xBox 360, tablets, laptops, web connected TVs and recorders and not forgetting smartphones too. That all puts a big strain on the network when you multiply that by the 1100 households (or thereabouts) each hanging off the local exchange.

    As I understand it, there will be an assessment in 2015 to look at upgrading the service, through Government financial assistance, to what’s called fiber to the cabinet or FTTC. If this happens then it ought to mean that anyone near enough to a green street phone cabinet could expect speeds to rise to around 40Mbps… but, as of now, it’s all theory and very very little fact.

    There are alternative options, such a wireless high speed connection from the likes of Lothian Broadband (LBB). But the danger is that if LBB seeks to put a service in place for some in Pencaitland it might compromise the chances of the phone exchange getting upgraded… in effect a modern-day Catch 22!

    The Community Council is very aware of this issue and we are pushing to get meaningful information from all the parties concerned to try to move the decisions and necessary actions along as fast as possible. Just don’t hold your breath for any quick fixes…



  2. We need a faster internet sooner rather than later, will not download a tv progam in the same night.

  3. Hi Stephen

    “Who is it that we need to put the pressure on to get wireless high speed?”

    That would be ourselves (as in the whole community) in this case. If it proves to be technically viable it’s simply a question of gauging whether there’s sufficient interest in the community for a faster alternative to ADSL.

    On the basis that we get sufficient interest, the community council would need to then approve progressing this. That involves running a few technical checks to ensure its would work reliably and then would most likely require sourcing funding support to meet some of the up-front equipment set-up costs.

    If you are interested in helping we will be looking for volunteers to knock on doors and ask members of the community their views, as per the online survey.

    Please contact me at if you’re interested in helping.


    Pencaitland Community Council

  4. Being a business and personal user of broadband in Pencaitland since it was brought to the village I have noticed the deterioration in speed over that period of time, probably due to the uptake in broadband and fighting for bandwidth as Jason points out.

    Even upgrading to the best routers around, ensuring that I use latest browsers etc I am lucky if I get 1Mb during peak times, when I need to use it most!

    Who is it that we need to put the pressure on to get wireless high speed?

  5. Hi Jason

    Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated. I’ll ensure your thoughts are shared with the working group looking at the viability of the wireless broadband scheme.


    Pencaitland Community Council

  6. This would be a useful service, as at my location I can’t get 3G, which is another viable option for some people, using a MiFi personal 3G wifi.

    An important thing for me however (business and domestic user) would be consistency. I currently use Sky broadband, which is really BT under the hood. Theoretically I can get 6Mb/s. I’ve seen it once or twice while burning the midnight oil, but most peak times there’s very poor performance (as low as 200-300K). Low peak time performance is no good to me, as (not surprisingly), it’s when I too want to use the internet.

    Also, performance is not just measured in up/download speed. This is important, but so is latency (delay from send to receive), especially when remote working. This is usually a function of contention (the number of other users arbitrating for bandwidth). Contention ratio/latency should be considered, when making provider decisions.

    That said, almost anything would be better than my current solution.

    Also, the survey didn’t ask about data limits (e.g. amount I can download without being penalised somehow). My experience has been fair usage policies vary greatly in this area, and business users especially may require guarantees there.

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