Work is beginning in three Wester Ross areas to bring high-speed fibre broadband services to homes and businesses.
Around 1,200 premises in Ullapool, Plockton and Kyle (Skye side) are set to be the first to benefit from the roll-out of next generation broadband through the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband project.
It’s expected the services will be live during the next six months. More information on additional roll-out for the west coast will follow in the coming months.
The project, led in the region 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: “We’re delighted to see work starting a little ahead of schedule to reach west coast communities. So far we have brought better broadband to more than 80 towns and villages across the region and work is underway in the same number again.
“There will be more coverage coming through for the west coast into 2016. As roll-out continues it’s important to stress people aren’t upgraded automatically. If you are reached by the project, and when it’s available, if you want a fibre based service you have to order it though an Internet Service Provider.“
The roll-out is a massive engineering project. Having already laid a brand new core fibre network in many parts of the Highlands and Islands the engineers are now building local networks in towns and villages, mostly using green cabinets, to deliver the high speed services to as many people as possible.
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “The Digital Scotland rollout has now passed more than half the homes and business premises currently included in our plans for the Highlands and Islands and it’s fantastic that our engineers are now reaching into west coast communities, which have so much to gain.
“We’ll continue to work hard to maintain the great progress to date and bring fast fibre to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.
“BT is determined to make sure that Scotland remains at the forefront of the high-speed digital revolution. We’re proud to be working hand in hand with our partners to deliver a truly Digital Scotland. Everyone can keep up to speed with the latest developments at www.hie.co.uk/digital .”
Folow us @HIEdigital for latest updates on live areas