In 2021 we were asked by our long-time client Scottish Wildlife Trust to design a solution that would provide much needed connectivity for their staff on Handa Island, off the northwest coast of the Scottish mainland. With no mains power, water, or telephone connection, the outlook appeared somewhat bleak. Rural connectivity in its most extreme form.
Never ones to shy away from a challenge, we took the long journey north in September to survey the site, and see what we could come up with. Arriving in unseasonably warm weather, we met with Roger the captain of our boat to the island and set off for the short journey to the sandy shores that awaited us.
Testing & Planning Installation for 4G Connectivity
The funny thing about cellular signal though, is it turns up in the most unusual places. And in this remote wildlife haven, we quickly found multiple networks delivering good quality 4G signal.
Having gathered all the information we needed we setoff to take in the fascinating walk around the island, with its inland lochs, stunning cliff faces and bird colonies, and every so often, solitary skua wondering who these late-season visitors were.
Implementation of Dunedin IT Connectivity Solution
We returned to base and agreed that a multi-network solution, managed by a Peplink hub, would give resilient connectivity, capable of supporting video calling, and remote management from the team at Dunedin IT. And all powered by solar !
Returning to complete the installation in March 2022, we were once again greeted by the warm Atlantic coast sunshine and with rangers and volunteers starting to return to the island, it was a real pleasure to give them a connection to their Scottish Wildlife Trust colleagues and the outside world. The addition of WiFi meant staff can work in various parts of the site – even outside in that beautiful sea-air !
Keeping Staff on Handa Island Connected
The pandemic shone a real light on issues such as isolation and remote working – many of us had to learn to be productive in a new location, often working alone for long spells and we relied heavily on technology to ensure collaboration continued. We hope this new sense of connection can ensure the important work on Handa continues for many years to come.