More than 2,000 homes and businesses in Arran and Cumbrae can now order high speed fibre based broadband.
The first 1,400 premises in parts of Brodick, Lamlash, Shiskine and Whiting Bay in Arran are now part of the brand new fibre optic network. Around 800 in Millport are also able to access the new services.
Customers in these areas can check their telephone number or postcode on an interactive checker at www.hie.co.uk/whereandwhen This is just the start of roll-out and more will follow in many of these locations and in other villages in Arran in 2016.
The roll-out is part of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) project.
The project, led in parts of North Ayrshire by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), is bringing better broadband to thousands of homes and businesses which could not be reached by the private sector's commercial fibre broadband programme.
The coverage forms part of a three year £146m investment, funded by the Scottish Government, the UK Government, HIE and private sector partner BT, with engineers from BT's local network business Openreach delivering the project on the ground.
Stuart Robertson, HIE's director of digital, commented: "It's great to see availability of next generation broadband arrive for the first homes in Arran and in Millport, and slightly ahead of schedule. More will follow soon and we're delighted to see local villages join more than 100 places of all sizes across the region which can now get better broadband because of the public investment.
"As roll-out reaches our communities it's important to stress people aren't upgraded automatically. If you want a fibre based service you have to order it though an Internet Service Provider."
BT Scotland fibre programme director, Liz Mallinson, said: ”It’s great news for local homes and businesses that we’ve now connected the first properties on Arran and Cumbrae to faster fibre broadband. Thanks to the efforts of Openreach engineers and the challenging subsea cable-laying, more communities are benefiting from the faster speeds on offer. Whatever you do online you can do it better with fibre broadband.
“We’re proud to be at the heart of digital life in Scotland and now that we’ve got the first cabinets established in those areas we can grow our numbers and build a wider fibre footprint in 2016.”
Background Information for Arran and Millport.
In November we highlighted the areas where work was started. They will see services go live in stages as we head for the Spring.
Arran - Brodick, Corrie, Lamlash, Lochranza, Shiskine, Whiting Bay Great Cumbrae - Millport
In addition to the ones which are started already we will be announcing more work starting this year for areas within Pirnmill, Kildonan and Sliddery.
Getting fibre to the islands for the first time has been a major engineering project. Subsea cable was laid from Largs to Millport, and for Arran the island was linked to the mainland via two subsea fibre optic cables. These were successfully put in place between Blackwaterfoot and Campbeltown and Corrie and West Kilbride at the end of 2014.