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Broadband update for your local authority area

13 July 2016

The next areas where fibre broadband is rolling out across Scotland have been announced by Digital Scotland partners today. See the release here

Local area and progress details for Highlands and Islands areas are as below:

Latest independent figures from Think Broadband confirm 75% coverage across the Highlands and Islands region. They indicate that 61% of H&Is premises have access to more than 30Mbps and that 70% of premises have access to more than 10Mbps.

Customers are reminded that fibre services are an entirely different product than existing broadband. You have to #CheckandOrder if available. See the phone number/postcode checker here 


New areas where work is scheduled in the next six months – Bigton, Bixter (has come through early - already live), North Roe, Ollaberry
Current number of premises where fibre based broadband is now available – more than 7,500
Number of new fibre broadband cabinets built and taking orders – 40
Towns and villages with services available - Bixter, Brae, Bressay, Cunningsburgh, Gott, Hamnavoe, Hillswick, Lerwick, Quarff, Sandwick, Scalloway, Mossbank, Sullom Voe, Sumburgh, Voe, Walls, Weisdale


New areas where work is starting in the next six months – all phase 1 project areas have started
Current number of premises where fibre based broadband is now available – more than 7,000
Number of new fibre broadband cabinets built and taking orders – 31
Towns and villages with services available - Burray, Deerness, Evie, Finstown, Harray, Holm, Kirkwall, Orphir, St Margaret’s Hope, Stromness

Outer Hebrides

New areas where work will be starting in the next six months – Balallan, Carnan, Gravir, Grogarry, Locheport, Sollas
Current number of premises where fibre based broadband is now available – more than 6,500
Number of new fibre broadband cabinets built and taking orders – 46
Towns and villages with services available - Back, Barvas, Callanish, Carloway, Crossbost, Garrabost, Leverburgh, North Tolsta, Shawbost, Stornoway.

Highland – the figures here reflect the project coverage – there is additional coverage in Highland through BT’s own commercial roll-out

New areas where work will be starting in the next six months – Applecross, Aultbea, Badachro, Balmacara, Bridge of Westfield, Carbost, Dornie, Farr, Forss, Glenelg, Glenshiel, Kinlochbervie, Kinlocheil (Glenfinnan), Latheron, Lochbroom, Lochinver, Morvern, Nigg, Nigg Station, North Erradale, Poyntzfield, Skeabost Bridge, Staffin, Strathy, Stromeferry, Whiteface.
Current number of premises where fibre based broadband is now available – almost 65,000
Number of new fibre broadband cabinets built and taking orders – 242
Towns and villages with services available - Alness, Ardersier, Ardgay, Aviemore, Avoch (Fortrose), Ballachulish, Beauly, Bettyhill, Boat of Garten, Bonar Bridge, Brora, Cannich, Carrbridge, Castletown, Cawdor, Corpach, Cromarty, Croy, Culbokie, Dingwall, Dochgarroch, Dores, Dornoch, Drumchardine, Drumnadrochit, Dunbeath, Duror, Edderton, Embo (Dornoch), Evanton, Fearn, Fort Augustus, Fort William, Fortrose, Golspie, Grantown on Spey, Halkirk, Helmsdale, Invergarry, Invergordon, Inverness, Inverness Culloden, Keiss, Kessock, Kildary, Kiltarlity, Kincraig, Kingussie, Kinlochleven, Kyle, Lochcarron, Lybster, Mallaig, Milton of Leys, Muir of Ord, Munlochy, Nairn, Nethybridge, Newtonmore, Onich, Plockton, Portmahomack, Portree, Reay, Rogart, Rosemarkie, Salen, Spean Bridge, Strathpeffer, Strathy, Strontian, Tain, Thrumster, Thurso, Tomatin, Uig, Urray, Watten, Wick.

Moray - there is additional coverage in Moray through BT’s own commercial roll-out

New areas where work will be starting in the next six months – Ballindalloch, Mulben
Current number of premises where fibre based broadband is now available – almost 30,000
Number of new fibre broadband cabinets built and taking orders – 104
Towns and villages with services available - Aberlour, Alves, Brodie, Buckie, Carron, Clochan, Cullen, Dallas, Dufftown, Elgin, Findhorn, Fochabers, Forres, Garmouth, Hopeman, Keith, Kingston, Kinloss, Lhanbryde, Longmorn, Lossiemouth, Rothes, Rothiemay, Tomintoul

Argyll and Bute - there is additional coverage in A&B through BT’s own commercial roll-out

New areas where work will be starting in the next six months – Achnamara, Cairndow, Crinan, Glenbarr, Kilchrenan, Minard, Southend, Whitehouse
Current number of premises where fibre based broadband is now available – more than 18,000
Number of new fibre broadband cabinets built and taking orders – more than 80
Towns and villages with services available - Aros, Balvicar, Benderloch (Ledaig), Campbeltown, Cardross, Carradale, Connel, Craignure, Dalmally, Dervaig, Dunoon, Ford, Innellan, Inveraray, Kilmelford, Kilmun, Lochgilphead, Machrihanish, Minard, Oban, Rothesay, Strachur, Tarbert, Taynuilt, Tighnabruaich, Tobermory, Toward

Arran and Cumbrae

New areas where work will be starting in the next six months – Kildonan
Current number of premises where fibre based broadband is now available in Millport and Arran – more than 3,000
Number of new fibre broadband cabinets built and taking orders- 19
Towns and villages with services available - Brodick, Corrie, Lamlash, Lochranza, Millport, Pirnmill, Shiskine, Whiting Bay.

Leave a comment

Susan Campbell 13/07/2016

When will rural Isle of Islay be connected to fibre broadband? Many people here are running small businesses and supporting community organisations with little more than dial-up speeds. Although some have satellite bb via the Scottish Gov't scheme, which was very helpful at the time this is limited, slow and expensive. We need improvement more than many areas which already can access a reasonable service via BT, which is not available to many of us in rural areas.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 20/07/2016

Hi Susan, work has started on laying a fibre optic network in Islay. It will bring high speed broadband to many parts of the island for the first time over the next six months. The main technology used is fibre to the cabinet, and involves building cabinets in locations across the island to reach as many premises as is possible within the current budget available. Unfortunately, we can't reach everyone in this first roll-out, but bringing fibre to the island makes finding a solution for others more likely. In addition, GigaPlus Argyll, is developing a wireless high speed network with the help of Community Broadband Scotland. It will offer coverage to some of the hardest to reach parts of Islay.

Robert MacCallum 13/07/2016

The situation in Invergarry remains a joke, the cabinet is there and live but hardly any of the houses in the village are connected to it. Try the Post Office or the school, both in the centre of the village, 01809501401 and 01809501317, EO line yet only 800m from the exchange. The main housing is at PH35 4HA and PH35 4HB yet remains with EO lines, while houses that are well over 2km away have been connected to the cabinet.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 13/07/2016

Thanks Robert, there can be various reasons for these kinds of network anomalies - we are speaking with BT to see if it is possible to draw in any of these remaining lines in the village.

Ian Fraser 16/07/2016

Can someone clarify ? is fast broadband available in the village of Tore ? (our phone lines come from Munlochy) If it's not available, when will the service be provided ?

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 20/07/2016

Hi Ian, some Tore homes are connected into a cabinet in Munlochy which has been upgraded to fibre, but given speeds diminish depending on distance, may be too far to benefit. To help improve coverage it is likely that an additional cabinet will be built in Tore to bring services closer but we don't yet know exactly where that will be located.

Robert Macnaughton 17/07/2016

I am about 1.5 km from cabinet 8 in Conon Bridge, which does not appear to be fibre live. I asked about this about 2 years ago, when much trumpeted superfast was being rolled out from Dingwall, and was told it was awaiting a new rounadbout being built near the cabinet. This has been built for over a year. Also I do not see Conon Bridge nor Maryburgh mentioned in the above Broadband update

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 20/07/2016

Hi Robert, Maryburgh and Conon Bridge are being delivered by commercial roll-out, not through the publicly funded contract. Cabinet 6 for Maryburgh and cabinet 7 for Conon Bridge are live. Your cabinet - number 8 will be delivered by BT as part of its own work.

Dave Payn 19/07/2016

Yes, me again. Sorry, but 'work startin in Kildonan in the next six months'... it seems to getting pushed back further doesn't it. Oh yes, you had to supply Brodick, Whiting Bay, Lamlash etc. first, didn't you? - leaving the rest of us further behind. Brodick, Lamlash and Whiting Bay got theirs on schedule didn't they... surprise, surprise! And Openreach seem to be working on bringing it to more properties in those areas, before work even starts in Kildonan! Oh but we don't matter, do we? Only a small village on Arran...

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 20/07/2016

Hi David, we know it's hard waiting. The project is rolling as quickly as we can. It has been designed to reach as many as possible as quickly as possible and by definition roll-out means that we have to push out from where existing fibre is. The next location is dictated by the engineering requirements, so it's not that we think anywhere deserves it more than another or faster than another. Kildonan isn't late - it's just we let you know that the exchange area was in the programme earlier than normal...

Dave Payn 24/07/2016

I attach a communication from Wilma Macrae from February this year. Dear Mr Payne 'Thanks for your email. Kildonan will be announced formally in our next quarterly announced in mid March. This means that work will commence in the next six months with the intention of the first customers going live by August/Sept. Kind regards. Wilma Macrae' Can I assume then that Kildonan will be 'on time' going live from next month? Given your definition of roll-out, how come the northend (Lochranza, Pirnmill) has been supplied where the southend (Sliddery, Kildonan) has yet to be, thus far?

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 27/07/2016

The initial coverage in the Kildonan Exchange area wasn’t going to be as good as expected so it is currently back in with BT planning while they look at how to extend the number of premises to be brought in. While this does mean it will be later in the year it should mean better coverage for your area. The area is expected to go live, all going well, by the end of this year.

Dave Payn 27/07/2016

Fair enough but you didn't explain this in the last reply. You merely said 'Kildonan isn't late' when it obviously is later than originally planned for the reasons you state. I take it that the rollout for Lochranza and Pirnmill was as good as expected as you didn't answer that question. I'm sorry but I will not let this drop. It just seems unfair that the centre and the North Island have been supplied leaving the south end (including Sliddery) languishing behind. The lack of effective communication as I've just highlighted is not helping. matters.

Neil Ross 23/07/2016

I understand that installing Fibre is a complex process but can someone give me a rough time scale for when Holm Farm Road, Culduthel, Inverness,IV2 6BE will get Fibre Broadband?

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 26/07/2016

Hi Neil Premises in your postcode are being delivered by commercial roll-out, not through the publicly funded contract that HIE's is leading. Your cabinet - number 65, will be delivered by BT as part of its own work.

David Meldrum 26/07/2016

We live in the centre of Taynuilt and are on an EO line. The word in the village (and in the Oban Times and Vodafone mailshots) is that EO lines are now capable of being enabled for super-fast broadband. This is denied by BT, whose only suggestion was to pay for our EO line to be re-routed to a cabinet. What is going on?

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 27/07/2016

Hi David, yes, about half of all the premises we are bringing into the network through the project were originally EO lines. It does take a bit more work as the existing telecoms network also has to be re-shaped. Roll-out is not yet complete in your village - it has seen a full mix of technologies as BT work to maximise the coverage. So far there are two live cabinets - cabinet 1 and cabinet 4. Cabinet 4 is a new EO cabinet. In addition some of the homes in Aldersyde have access to Fibre to the Premise (another technology where fibre comes from a node direct to the home). There are still two more cabinets to be built in the village. Cabinet 2 is an existing cabinet - work has started on it. The final one is another EO cabinet which will be number 5, we do not yet have a date for its build but it should be by the end of the year.

barney higgins 01/08/2016

Hi, im interested to know if and when the Isle of gigha, and the other villages in mid Argyll like Tayinloan and Clachan will be connected? As populations are very small here, are they further down the list? Thanks

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 02/08/2016

Hi Barney, unfortunately the fibre broadband roll-out is not going to reach everyone in this first phase of work. There will be some coverage in the Clachan area this year, but not in Tayinloan or for Gigha. The roll-out is designed to reach as many people as possible - but there are some areas which we can't reach yet within the current budget and technology. The Scottish Government has recently committed to superfast speeds for all by 2021. Work has already started to look at how that can be delivered. There are a couple of options you can also look at now - with speeds below 2 Mbps there is a UK voucher scheme for satellite (installation costs only). If you are interested in looking at the viability of a community owned solution you can also contact Community Broadband Scotland. If you need more info on these you can contact us at

Ross 05/08/2016

Hi..I live in tore and my phone line is connected to a fibre live box in Muir of Ord but because of distance i am unable to get Fibre as is the same for alot of my there any plans toget a new box located in tore and if not who do i have contact to request one???

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 14/08/2016

Hi Ross. In this first phase of roll-out we are connecting in as many people as we can. However, we are working within the existing networks and there will be people who may not see a benefit if they are too far away from their existing cabinet, or who may not get the speeds they would hope for. There are plans for a cabinet at Tore - mostly to draw in people currently connected to exchange only lines (who have no cabinet at all). At this stage your line may not be moved to another cabinet. Moving forward Digital Scotland will be looking at everyone not achieving superfast speeds to look at what needs to be done to improve their connections.

Craig Fisher 05/08/2016

I notice in the article above, that Kyle is mentioned as one of the villages that has services available. I have yet to find anyone in Kyle who has managed to access the fibre services, so would appreciate any news on when actual residents of Kyle will be able to access fibre. Thanks

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 14/08/2016

Hi Craig, Kyleakin is part of the Kyle exchange area as far as telecoms are concerned and it is live. There will be additional cabinets in Kyle itself - but I'm afraid they are taking a bit longer to deliver than we had hoped. We will bring them as quickly as we can, and work will be this year.

Cameron 26/08/2016

Still slightly confused over the cabinet building. I have 3 new cabinets that have the now accepting offers in my area stickers which are from 10 meters to 20meters for furthest away one but yet I am still connected to exchange only line. I had emailed earlier in the year but just don't get the logic of not connecting the houses in between these new cabinets. IV67QB curling court

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 29/08/2016

Hi Cameron, the build has depended initially on the existing network. Where homes were already connected to a cabinet, a fibre cabinet was built next to it and then the two were linked. Where people are on EO lines we have to renetwork them. It's worth emailing us again so we can check your postcode, moving forward we will be looking at where we can draw more EO lines into the network.

Kevin Green 25/08/2016

Hi, can you update me as to when fibre is going to be rolled out in the Westercraigs area of Inverness (Cabinet 64 from the Inverness Macdhui Exchange area)? Also what percentage of Inverness homes have access to fibre optic that are located on this side of the ness(kynmylies, leach kin etc), I've yet to meet somebody who has!

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 29/08/2016

Hi Kevin, the Kinmylies area was not initially part of our project. However, we are now discussing with BT how it can be drawn in. This means the infrastructure still has to be planned. It may not be available until next year, but we are working to deliver it sooner if we can. So far there are some cabinets nearby - Leachkin homes attached to cabinet 78 can get coverage, as can Highfield./Balnafettack from cab 32. Everyone can check their number on our map

Kevin Green 31/08/2016

Hi, thanks for your reply, though I'm taken aback that kynmylies was and is not yet part of your official plans to provide fibre optic access. For those of us in this area can you give us an explanation as to why such an area would be excluded from your plans to bring into the 21st century. At the moment the broadband speed in this area is abysmal and does not reflect the aspirations of a City to compete or provide its citizens with access to social media and digital solutions which England and Wales have had for a decade now.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 31/08/2016

Hi Kevin, initially the Kinmylies area wasn't part of our project because it was to be covered commercially – but challenges with costs of delivery meant it couldn't be delivered by the market. We've therefore drawn it into the publicly funded project.

Paul 08/09/2016

When is Lawers Way IV38NX going to get fibre enabled? The current speed is appauling and all the new builds in our area along with homes on the opposite side of Leachkin Road have been connected for some time yet we seem to be forgotten. It can be less than 1mbs some days with unbearable latency.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 08/09/2016

Hi Paul, as mentioned above the Kinmylies area was initially going to be rolled out commercially and wasn't part of our programme. It has now been added to our project. People connected to cabinets 46 and 64 locally will be drawn in. It may be into 2017 - but will be done sooner if possible.

Diane Smith 31/10/2016

BISHOP KINKELL, CONON BRIDGE - hello, I am pleased to see the roll out of High Speed broadband, however I have been told by BT that I can expect 1-3mb at Bishop Kinkell. I'm not asking for High speed - shouldn't we all be able to receive a decent basic speed in the first instance???

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 01/11/2016

Hi Diane, thanks for getting in touch. Yes, the cabinet you are connected to (cab 8 Dingwall - being delivered commercially by BT itself) will be upgraded into the fibre network but you will probably be too far away to get a benefit from it. One of the challenges we have in the H&Is is that there is a limit to the distance both fibre and current broadband can reach on phone lines, and we have some long phone lines. The current project has put in as many new cabinets to reach as many people as possible within the current programme's budget.Homes like yours, ie everyone with less than 30Mbps download, will all be identified this year so that a plan can be put together to take access to better broadband further. In the meantime, if you get a current download speed of less than 2 Mbps, you would be eligible for a voucher towards the costs of satellite installation (or wireless if available).

lizzi pearce 01/11/2016

Hi apparently my nearest cabinet . Cabinet 4 in Forres is enabled for fibre but since I leave nearly 5 miles from cabinet I can only get speeds of 1 mbps. I have just taken a job where I need to work from home but the speeds are far too slow and I can't Skype. Surely thee must be a solution but I can't find one currently. I need to resolve this or I won't be able to work! Thank you

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 01/11/2016

Hi Lizzi, sorry to hear you are too far from the cab to get a benefit just now. The review which will take place this year will identify folk like you who can't yet get a benefit from the current roll-out. The Scottish Government has committed to everyone having superfast speeds by 2021, and Digital Scotland will be looking at how we reach those without superfast speeds in a future project. In the meantime if you get below 2 Mbps you are eligible for the 'better broadband scheme' which provides a voucher you can use to help (up to £350) with the cost of installation for a satellite connection, or a wireless solution (where available). There's a link to the scheme in our website and then FAQ 5, or drop us an email at

lizzi Pearce 01/11/2016

Hi I am aware of the scheme for satilite broadband, however they cap the data you can use per month. The company I work for use Google drive and that eats into data. I am currently trialing wifi data broadband with EE. Its more expensive but its very fast as I have 4G here. However you cant get unlimited and already I have used 45% of the months data in just 5 days so it is not suitable for me. I need unlimited. Do you know what my other options are please. I also have a lodger and he will move out I'm sure if I cant resolve this issue! Thanks and if you know of when this issue will be resolved please let me know as I obviously cant wait until 2021. Lizzi

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 02/11/2016

Hi Lizzi, it sounds like you have access to connectivity and to decent speeds, but that it is capacity that is the difficulty. I'm afraid we don't have an immediate solution for your home in terms of a fibre connection. The project is rolling-out fibre based services to as many places as possible but even with the public investment it can't reach everyone as yet. Perhaps your company could help with some of the costs? Or, you could look at leasing hot desking from a business centre locally where there are high speed services, and take the pressure off the capacity on your home broadband.

David H 03/11/2016

Any idea when my local cabinet will be upgraded from my current sub 1meg connection? This is killing local business growth. This is for Lochgilphead, post code is PA31 8RU

Christopher Gray 12/11/2016

We're moving to a brand new home in Muir of Ord in January 2017, but the Fibre checker say this is an Exchange Only line. Why would a development of 18 new homes built in 2016 on a new estate of over 80 homes be connected directly to the exchange rather than to a new street cabinet? Seems very short-sighted of BT to deliberately stop brand new homes getting Fibre in this way. Or is this an error in the checker? Postcode is IV6 7WH.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 16/11/2016

Hi Chris Since February 2016 there has been an agreement in place between BT and the House Builders Federation which is designed to deliver superfast broadband connectivity to new build properties, either for free or as part of a co-funded initiative. In house developments of 30 premises or more BT usually provide ‘fibre to the premises’ (free of charge) as long as the developer has allowed them enough planning time. Do ask your developer what the situation is, as it is between the house developer and BT Openreach to make sure that arrangements for the infrastructure is agreed.

Christopher Gray 17/11/2016

Thanks, but what do I do when this goes wrong. Developer (Tulloch Homes) has now confirmed that all 18 homes on the new build development at Muir of Ord are Exchange Only lines, and so can't have Superfast Broadband. I move in January 2017 and will only get a slow internet connection because of the Exchange Only line. Who is responsible for ensuring BT Openreach deliver Superfast Broadband to new build developments?

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 18/11/2016

Hi Chris. You should speak to your developer. They had the option to agree with BT Openreach what infrastructure should be installed. Here is the link for developers which outlines what is available (in some cases for free)

Christopher Gray 18/11/2016

I have spoken to the developer. They say it's BT Openreach who decided to connect all the new houses directly to the exchange rather than to a street cabinet, despite the nearest street cabinet being FTTC enabled. How can BT Openreach get away with this sort of decision, that effectively excludes new build homes from getting Superfast broadband.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 19/11/2016

Did they confirm if they registered their site in advance with BT Openreach as per the link above? We are happy to speak with Tulloch if they are having any difficulty with the site registration process.

John 22/12/2016

I understand that the exchange in Glenelg was upgraded in July/August so any idea when the first houses will be connected to it? The website just says by end December and has said that for months! End of December is now only days away ! So will Broadband arrive within next 8 days! or will the web be updated again?

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 23/12/2016

Hi John, the fibre broadband comes from fibre cabinets rather than the exchange. There are two which have been built but which aren't quite all the way through the process yet. We hope to see them live early in the new year. Season's greetings to you.

Jim Inglis 20/01/2017

A lot of my work is home -based , and, I MUST have good internet access, in Harlosh, Dunvegan. The service provided by BT is simply a joke. They should concentrate on providing the service we are paying for instead of concentrating making billions from their footballing activities.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 20/01/2017

Hi Jim, while the public investment into fibre broadband is reaching some parts of Skye, the current contract isn't reaching Harlosh. The Scottish Government is carrying out a review of all premises which can't access superfast broadband to identify an intervention area for a future project. In the meantime, it's likely you would be eligible for the satellite voucher which provides up to £350 for the installation of a satellite. You can apply here if interested

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