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Digital Tour Highland

31 August 2016

The Digital Scotland fibre showcase bus has been in Highland at Duror, Fort William, Kingussie and Inverness to promote the arrival of high speed fibre broadband for local homes and businesses.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and BT staff, who are part of the partnership delivering a £146m fibre broadband roll-out across the region, met with community representatives in each of the local areas to highlight new broadband services.

The roll-out of a new fibre optic network has reached around 77% of Highland homes and businesses in more than 75 towns and villages so far and is expected to extend this coverage to around 84% of premises by the end of the year.

An online checker allows customers to see if fibre services are available and there's also a list of places where work has started at

Lesley Gallagher, of HIE's digital team, said: "It's been great to chat to local people in their home towns, many of whom are excited that the project is dramatically improving connectivity. We have highlighted that fibre broadband is different to existing ADSL services - so people do have to check if it's available. Some of those we spoke to were able to order and didn't realise."

"The roll-out opens up the opportunity to live and work from the most fantastic locations while enjoying access to new markets, products and services online. We know there's further to go yet in reaching even more people, but towns and villages of all sizes are already seeing the benefits."

Local Highland councillors and business and community representatives attended the various events. Highlights included:

In Fort William, the West Highland Museum discovered it could double its broadband speed for a lower price, in Kingussie we highlighted the excellent coverage in the village and that additional services were coming for Insh, and in Inverness we highlighted that a fibre cabinet has recently gone live at the Beechwood Business Park.

Robert Thorburn, BT's programme manager for the Highlands and Islands project said: 'The project has built a core fibre optic network across parts of the Highlands and Islands which couldn't be reached before. This will help the partnership reach more than 8 out of 10 Highland premises by the end of this year, and provides the potential to reach even further in future projects.

"Fibre broadband through Fibre to the Cabinet technology offers fast and reliable broadband connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps. Whether you own a business, work from home or want to keep in touch with friends and family, fibre broadband enables multiple users to connect to the internet at high speeds and get better, faster access to online services."


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