7th November 2017
Dear Sir or Madam,
You will recall that in September GPA caried out a survey by means of an on-line questionnaire. Over two hundred of our Registrants responded (36%). Thank you. The support for going ahead with a community funded scheme was over-whelming (74%).
Had such a scheme been possible we could have connected some subscribers very quickly and thereby established an income stream on which to build. However, Community Broadband Scotland (CBS) advised GPA that it would only be possible to use the existing masts for a private scheme if the State Aid obligations were undertaken by GPA – this was felt by the Directors of GPA to be commercially prohibitive. The State Aid regulations are devised to level the playing-field for contractors bidding for state-aided contracts, and not for the good of the supposed eventual beneficiaries.
We have spent some time trying to find a legal means of working around these regulations, but it has proved impossible. Reluctantly the board of GPA have concluded that unless there is a last-minute change of political will, or some other initiative, there is no other course but to look at the options for winding up GPA and awaiting the delivery of the Scottish Government's 'Reaching 100%' (R100) scheme, due for implementation by 2021.
We have issued a statement to the press today, and you are likely to see it reported in the Oban Times shortly.
We would like to record our thanks to Michael Russell, our MSP, who has tried hard to persuade public bodies and governments to take a more constructive approach. If you would like to make your views known to Michael you can contact him at 'email@example.com'
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Press Release 11-Nov-2017
Chairman, GigaPlus Argyll