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Geographical Information of North Ronaldsay Island

The Orkney Islands lie 10 miles off the north east corner of Scotland and are an archipelago of approximately 70 islands covering 990 km2, of which 20 islands are inhabited.  The exact number of islands depends on what you define as an island and what you define as a rock – the colloquial definition is that it is an island if you can keep a sheep on it for a year!  The population of Orkney is approximately 20,000, with about 15,000 of these living on the largest island (known as Mainland).  The largest population centres of Kirkwall (~8,500) and Stromness (~2,200) are both on mainland.  The remainder of the population is scattered across the islands in small villages and isolated properties.  Historically the mainstays of the economy have been crofting (small scale farming) and fishing.  More recently the development of North Sea Oil has provided employment and income to the islands, mainly through the oil terminal on Flotta.  There is also a developing tourist industry largely based on the many archaeological sites and unique wildlife of the islands.  However, changes in farming and fishing along with doubts over the long term future of the North Sea Oil supply mean that alternative employment opportunities are necessary.

There are currently Internet connections to the main population centres but these are very variable.  Some are modern high speed links via SHEFA-2 but others are rather slow and unreliable.  More remote areas of Mainland and some of the more remote islands have difficulty getting any connection at all and some still rely on dial-up links, which are obsolete.  This limits the opportunities for modern e-commerce solutions and the development of on-line businesses.  It even impacts tourism as more people research and book their holidays on line.   

You are to provide a report for the Orkney Islands Council that explains the options available to provide high speed and reliable Internet connections to the most northerly of the islands: North Ronaldsay.

Nearest Post Code KW17 2BE

Lat (WGS84)   N59:22:19 (59.371925)

Long (WGS84) W2:24:59 (-2.416359)

OS Land Ranger HY764540

The easiest way to find the island is to use or which both have street level mapping of the UK and search on “North Ronaldsay”.  You can then zoom to get a wider or closer view.  Note that this is so remote there is no StreetView

North Ronaldsay island will come up on searches so you can find out more about this remote location.

You should produce a formal report discussing the technologies available to provide reliable and high speed Internet connections to the island.  Consider the problems that this location presents and how the technologies resolve those problems.  You need to make recommendations for which technologies to use to provide Internet connections to all the premises on this island.  As can be seen from the maps on, the entire island is virtually flat, with a maximum elevation of only 20 metres.

You need to cover the entire connection route from the premises on the island to a major Internet backbone.  This will involve more than one technology.

The Orkney Islands Council raises taxes against the oil companies that use the oil terminals within the islands and directs this money to developments within the island.  This project is to be funded from the oil taxes and so costs are not a limiting factor, but the accountants will need to have some idea of the relative costs of your solutions.

Geographical Information of North Ronaldsay Island

The North Ronaldsay is an island that is part of Orkney archipelago which is in Scotland, it is made of 691 hectares of land and among the other islands that forms Orkney archipelago.

However this island is in the northern part of the Orkney archipelago and it is number fourteen in terms of size of the other island.

In this island there are various economic activities carried out which includes the farming and fishing ,however the island has many tourists attraction features that attracts the tourists who comes to the country during the holiday seasons  ,the locals and the visitors  come to see the traditions  and culture.

The island economy as it also depends on the tourism it has poor network connections since the technology used is slow and not reliable ,this limits the ability of the visitors to book to tour the country hence there is need to install a better internet connection to enable efficient connectivity in the entire island.

Geographically this island is located in the map in longitude 59.371925, and latitude -2.416359 as in the below maps:

North Ronaldsay

Orkney archipelago  


The North Ronaldsay Island is facing some challenges with the current connections of internet , this is because of the low access speed and the reliability of the internet connectivity .

However the available internet connection is through two technology which are not very reliable ,however these two technologies includes the following:

Modern High Speed Links Via SHEFA-2

This is type of the technology that had been adopted to supply the internet services to some part of the island, however this area is highly populated and hence it is not reliable due to its variable nature.

However the SHEFA-2 is a type of communications cables that that are transmitted below the sea and it connects the mainland and the Scotland through the North Isles, this internet connection was succeeded by another technology called SHEFA-1 which was linked through same routes. 

Dial-Up Links.

The dial-up link is another technology used to connect the island to the internet however, this technology currently is quite obsolete and out of date.

However this is the technology that has connected the most remote parts of the island and the mainland too where those area receive poor connection while others don’t get internet completely.

This dial-up connection is a connection that requires one to use the a phone line in order to establish connection with any server or hubs ,therefore to be able to communicate the users  are required to make dial-up ,however the users will be required to be always have a modem device always in order to establish the internet connection .

Current Available Internet Connection in the North Ronaldsay Island

Below are some of the major challenges caused by the dial-up internet connection as discussed below:

  1. Low connectivity speed.

The low speed is one of the major shortcoming in the dial-up connections, this is because the number of bits transmitted per second are very little as 57000 byte for each second however this is the lowest speed compared to any other technology available .

The loading speed is the most discouraging to the users since they don’t get access to any information needed online. 

  1. Instability in dial-ups connections.

There are some of the activity online that demands for a very stable source of internet  connection which includes streaming data live online or uploading large files ,however in some places which need to connect the landline telephony are discouraged by the low speed connections.

Among other activities that need high internet are the downloading, the calling process among others.

  1. Demands a Phone Line

The dial-up connection  is dependent on a mobile phone line , this line is used to do dialling to enable internet connection ,therefore the internet is limited compared to other advanced technologies ,however this dial-up limits the users only to use internet only if they are accessing from the internet service providers of that line,

However in case one is using the laptop he cannot move as he surf until he get the destinations unless the laptop is installed with a wireless cards.

  1. There is engagement of the Phone Routes.

This is a situation where the landline phone was being used and therefore in case there are calls there is a certain line that is engaged or termed to be busy this is in case there are some data are being transmitted and therefore no other activity can be done until the process is fully completed therefore it limit the user from sufficient supply to internet connection 

The north Ronaldsay island having a number of challenges to connect to the internet there are various challenges that is associated  with where the visitors could not book online to visit as tourists ,the online business also become a challenge together with the e-commerce transactions (Robert ,2015).

However there are a number of new technologies that can be adopted to install better internet services and improve service to the people residing in the island, the following are the alternative technologies that could be used instead to provide the internet services.
  1. Cables Internet

The cable is one of the technology used to supply the internet this is also referred to as the TV cables internet ,this cable is mainly used in urbanized areas .

The TV cable has a capability to supply the internet connection at a relative speed of up to 30 Mbps to 100 Mbps.These cable can be supplied by the television providers however the  only limit is the sharing of the internet among the nearby people  and therefore the strength of the internet declines as the number of users increases.

Technologies for High-Speed and Reliable Internet Connection

However to use this internet one requires to have the modem and a line which is connected to the houses or through the TV cables that eventually supply house with internet connection.

Below are some relative properties of the TV cables:


  1. The Downward  speed ranges between  25 Mbps  to 100 Mbps.
  2. The rising up speed ranges between 2Mbps to 8 Mbps.
  3. The Latency level can be ranging between  150 ms  to 500 ms according to the locations


  1. The users require to pay $25 to $90 each month and then initial installation charges.


  1. The Cables internet provide the most fast internet connection for a long period.
  2. It is appropriate when sharing some files ,downloading or even streaming some movies online.
  3. This is a better while using games since the latency is low.
  4. It is most appropriate for many users like families since the computers can user one shared cable.
  5. The TV cable use is appropriate while using the TV ,and the VOIP telephones .


  1. These modems are likely to be quirky in some instances.
  2. In case one need much downloads a booster is required to be installed which is more expensive.
  3. There are some cases where the games latencies tend to be busy compared to the Bandwidth.
  4. The internet connected will be shared to the nearby people and it lowers your speed incase they do downloads.
  5. Digital Subscriber Line

The DSL is another technology that is used ,however there are three forms of DSL which varies in terms of speed of the internet which includes : ADSL, ADSL2+, and VDSL2.

However after the Cable internet the DSL is a very good internet connection technology ,this technology utilizes the telephone line in the respective premises.

The DSL provides internet with dialing speed of approximately 8 Mbps to 15 Mbps which is quite enough for simple internet use and while using the games ,however to install these technology one will install a modem and a single micro-filter.

However below are some of the properties  of the DSL internet connection.


  1. The Downward  speed ranges between  1.5 to 15 Mbps.
  2. The rising up speed ranges between 128 kbps to 1.0 Mbps.
  3. The Latency level can be ranging between  75 ms  to 400 ms according to the locations


  1. The users require to pay $35 to $50 each month and then initial installation charges.


  1. This is used conveniently by the user with subscribed telephone lines.
  2. It is made more accessible in the remote and rural places compared with cables.
  3. The bandwidth is not shared among neighbors and hence speed remains constant all through.
  4. It’s very appropriate to be used by those who play computer games online.


  1. The ADSL is said to be slow compared to cables internet connection.
  2. It is not very appropriate for heavy duties like to share and download files.
  3. There is limitation of number of users and hence not appropriate for the group or family members.

This is a third option of internet connection which is most recommended for users who are in the urban areas, however it is also ideal for those who travel or are in rural areas.

The introduction of the  4G and HSPA+ technologies makes things better since more that 100mbps are provided over a period of years ,therefore according to the current trend the 4G seems to be the best internet connection as it is wireless too.

The 3G and 4G wireless connection required  phones ,where the  internet connection uses the telephone tower and the telephone signals in order to supply the internet connections.

However these technologies are slow than the DSL although it is appropriate while using the laptop devices where one need to link the modem to the USB ports.


  1. The Downward  speed ranges between  0.4 to 50 Mbps.
  2. The rising up speed ranges between 0.2 to 6 Mbps.
  3. The Latency level can be ranging between  250 ms  to 800 ms according to the locations


  1. The users require to pay $30 to $110 each month and then initial installation charges.


  1. This technology can be very good for those travelling, ate work, and residents of rural areas.
  2. It is more convenience to use it as you don’t rely on another internet source while moving around the area.
  3. The downloading speed in any 4G is approximately 21Mbps or beyond.
  4. There is hopes that the 4G can supply a download speed of  up to 100 Mbps or more.


  1. It is quite expensive where it can cost between  $30 to $120 monthly.
  2. The signals received  strength can vary if the distance between the cell phone and the tower is changing.
  3. If the subscription is the lower grade the internet speed is quite slow and can end up frustrating users.
  4. The number of users is limited as only one user is allowed at any given time hence many machines cannot be used .
  5. Satellite Internet

This is an expensive internet connection technology ,however it is most appropriate incase one is located in a very remote place ,the only limitation is that it cannot allow file sharing or mail sending  ,however  to use file sharing services one require to subscribe the full two way connections although it is expensive (Devin, 2014).

The cost incurred to install satellite dish requires approximately $1000, where one require to do monthly subscriptions of about $100 to $250 .


  1. The Downward  speed ranges between  0.5 to 1 Mbps.
  2. The rising up speed ranges between 0.1 to 1 Mbps.
  3. The Latency level can be ranging between  800 ms  to 2500 ms according to the locations


  1. The users require to pay$100 to $250  each month ,$300 to $1000 to buy satellites dish and then initial installation charges.

Advantages .

  • It is the best for internet connection in remote areas.


  • The internet is quite slow with latency of 800 milliseconds.
  • It is costly during the installation and while subscribing.
  1. Fiber optics service

This is the modern internet connection that uses the optic media; this technology employs the principal of light

The are various providers of the optic cable internet connection where its speed is ranging between 300 Mbps to download and 65 Mbps for uploads. Below are some advantages of Fiber cables.


This provided most high internet speed unlike the cables ,DSL or the satellite technology.


It is not easily available only in few areas.

The North Ronaldsay island having a big challenge in internet connection  there had been many suggested options to use for internet connection  where they are selected for some specific areas depending on whether they are  in rural or urban areas (Joseph,2016).

However the following are some of the factors that i considered in my selection.

  1. Downloading and Uploading Speeds: Theinternet speed is very vital to the users regardless of the cost incurred as long as the service provided is worth therefore the speed s a key issue.
  2. Costs and Contracts:There are some internet service that need the additional devices like the modems which one need to purchase while others they offers discount in their offer and thus this issue become core while selecting the internet connection technology.
  3. Terms of Services: This is to check of the limitation set to the internet users where some internet providers sets the limit of the data used for a given period of time or even others restrain user from some activities.
  4. Internet Reliability:The internet connection should be checked whether one can use it at any given time when required and whether it can indicates when some unauthorised users are using the internet among others.
  5. Support  for the Customers:This is whether the providers can easily address issues faced by customers which entails the outage or failure ,Check how the providers give support of their customers.

Therefore there were three internet connection that is could recommend to be installed in the various parts of the island which has meet those requirements as follows:

Cables Internet. This is internet connection technology which is provided mainly for the urban areas or towns ,therefore I recommend this for town use since more users can share it and hence not much costly to install.

3G/4G  Wireless  telephone phone internet connection. This is a technology that is highly embraced to remotes areas and the area where most people travels and thus it is more recommendable for travelers and rural areas of the island.

Fiber optics service. This internet connection technology is one of the most reliable internet since it is able to support heavy downloads and uploads ,however it is recommended for recreation sites for gaming ,therefore it can be installed in towns and spread to the rural areas as well. 

The installation of the above recommended internet connection technology will require some funds  which is meant to buy equipments, installation cost and also the monthly charges incurred by the three technologies as it get consumed by the user (Daniel, 2014).

However below is the relative installation cost budget for each technology used.

Internet connection technology

Installation cost each

Number of users

Monthly charges per user

Total charges

Cables Internet





3G/4G  Wireless  telephone phone





Fiber optics service









$ 630000


Daniel, M. (2014). MIMO Power Line Communications: Narrow and Broadband Standards,U.S.A:CRC Press,p.250. 

Joseph.N. (2016). The Basics of Satellite Communication. Professional Education International, INDIA:Inc publishers,p530. 

Devin,A.(2014). Certified Wireless Network Administrator Official Study Guide ,U.S: McGraw-Hill,p.320. 

Robert ,R. (2015). The building of the Internet: Implications for the future of broadbandnetworks,ASIA:Telecommunications Policy, p.450.

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