Bringing High Speed Internet to Loch of the Lowes

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Scottish Wildlife Trust and Dunedin IT

We’ve been working with Scottish Wildlife Trust for some years now, helping develop the IT strategy and trying to enhance the experience of both staff and members. Initially focused on the head office infrastructure, we have increasingly been looking at improving connectivity at some of the more remote sites

The Challenge

Download Speed
Hours to upload videos to social media
Stability
Sometimes down for the entire day
"...numerous internet outages meant the livestream frequently failed, and it could take us hours to post a prerecorded video online. As a result, our technology wasn’t helping people connect to the reserve remotely – in fact, it was just the opposite and the outages often meant we struggled to provide a good experience for those who were onsite.”
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Emma Castle-Smith
Visitor Centre Assistant Manager at Scottish Wildlife Trust

Famous for its visiting pair of Ospreys, amongst a wealth of other wildlife, Loch of the Lowes struggled with the stability of their connection to the outside world. Video streaming from their nest webcam was problematic, as was accessing the organisation’s systems, required to run the site.

The Solution

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SIMs
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WiFi Access Points
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Customer WiFi area
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Average Speed
"Loch of the Lowes is a prime example of how leisure and tourism providers can use technology to improve the guest experience beyond simply improving business operations. It wasn’t just about working the card machine in the shop; the reserve uses technology to help people feel connected to nature both onsite and – thanks to the webcam and social media content – from anywhere in the world."

Existing connectivity was via landline technology, fed by copper cables which were prone to failing due to environmental issues.

The location meant this technology would never be able to deliver the speeds and stability required, so we looked to mobile connectivity and ultimately delivered a managed solution based on Peplink technology. Multiple 4G connections from different networks, along with a single DSL, combine to smooth out any bumps. Bandwidth is closely monitored and managed to send different traffic down the appropriate connection for its needs. In addition we provided WiFi coverage across all the visitor areas of the site.

The Tools Behind the Solution Video

Dunedin IT director Jamie Clague gets technical with the successful solution for high-speed internet in rural Scotland.

Hardware & Tool List:
  • 🟢 Peplink Balance 20
  • 🟣 Robustel R1520-4L
  • 🟠 Poynting Antennas
  • ⚪️ Ubiquiti Inc. Access Points
  • 🔵 x2 O2 (Telefónica UK) SIM
  • 🔴 x2 Vodafone SIM
  • 🟤 Jola Cloud

The Results

Download Speed
Seconds to upload HD videos to social media channels
Stability
99% uptime and now monitored by Dunedin IT
“The faster and reliable internet connection means our staff are free to do what we do best: talk about the environment and wildlife on the reserve and help people connect to nature. Thanks to the WiFi throughout the reserve, we’re also seeing more visitors share their experience with friends and family online, amplifying interest in the site and hopefully encouraging more people to feel connected to the environment.”
Emma 1
Emma Castle-Smith
Visitor Centre Assistant Manager at Scottish Wildlife Trust
The site has reported significant improvement in the stability of the livestream camera, as well as a huge reduction in the time required for uploading to their social media feeds. And the bandwidth management has meant no one application has a noticeable impact on any others that might be running in parallel.
 
The deployment of WiFi has enhanced the visitor experience and allows staff access to their online resources, no matter their location.
 
This includes providing connectivity to the volunteers who live on site during the summer months, allowing them to stay more connected to family and friends.
 
It’s a solution Scottish Wildlife Trust are already assessing in relation to other wilderness sites across Scotland.

Before and After

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