The UCI Cycling World Championships came to Dumfries earlier this month, putting the town on a global platform. Coverage of the para-cycling races was streamed around the world by numerous TV channels and websites, but none of it would have been possible without The Crichton Memorial Church.
Originally built in 1897, The Crichton Memorial Church is a standout feature of the 85 acre Crichton Estate, but it’s perhaps unusual to discover that the 126 year old building has been at the forefront of modern communications.
With a tower standing at over 100 feet, the church was the ideal location in Dumfries for rural internet brand Fibairo to install a temporary mast for the recent cycling event to enable smooth, uninterrupted coverage and live streaming of all the races. The ability to blend heritage infrastrure with cutting edge technology, bouncing a signal across Dumfries and increasing speeds to 750mbs, has been a key part of ensuring a global audience could watch and enjoy the events.
Based at Campbell House on The Crichton Estate, Fibairo understand the needs of rural businesses, and are on a mission to change the traditionally poor connectivity that those in rural areas have to endure.
Fibairo are working with the Scottish Government as part of the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme alongside the UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and local politicians to deliver high availability infrastructure and a range of solutions which will close the digital divide and connect the unconnected.
Gwilym Gibbons, Chief Executive at The Crichton Trust, had the following to say about the partnership:
“The Crichton has had a long ambition to help bring high speed broadcast quality broadband to Dumfries and we were delighted to help ensure the coverage of the UCI Cycling World Championships para-cycling events went smoothly! We have enjoyed having Fibairo both as a valued tenant and as a partner in connectivity innovation and deployment within the Estate. We are looking forward to strengthening our partnership to support future events, businesses and communities requiring resiliant, high bandwidth connectivity using The Crichton as a hub for the regions internet connectivity and data storage”.
Gwilym Gibbons continued:
“It was brilliant to see Dumfries on a world stage during the UCI para-cycling events, and to play a small part in the facilitation of that process was a real privilege. We continue to be surprised by the opportunities that are presented to us as custodians of The Crichton Estate.”
Mark Wheeler, CEO at Fibairo added:
“Fibairo moved to Dumfries and Galloway with the aspiration to invest in, build and deliver gigabit capable infrastructure where it did not exist currently, and connect the unconnected in rural environments, and difficult to connect locations. This project with UCI has not only shown that robust and reliable services can be delivered today at The Crichton for exciting forward-thinking events such as this, but also can be extended fit for purpose into underserved areas such as the Whitesands where a lot of the competition was taking place, and in the future businesses can take advantage of this investment moving forwards.”
“This was very much a collaboration with The Crichton Trust using The Crichton Memorial Church and facilities to achieve a link over 3km away at over 700mb consistently over the duration of the event. The Crichton has become organic operational home due to the facilities and collaborations open to us, and Fibairo intend now to invest further in the network, add customers, and create some much needed highly skilled jobs locally on campus, that will not only serve the immediate needs locally, but also to facilitate any future projects throughout Dumfries and the wider Scotland market where we intent to scale and grow.”