More than 14,500 homes and businesses across the Highlands and Islands will be next to benefit from the arrival of high-speed fibre broadband – in the latest phase of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.
Since the £410 million roll-out started last year, over 3,400 km of fibre cable have been laid across Scotland with more than 275,000 homes and businesses now able to connect to fibre broadband.
The partnership announced today (20 April) that fibre broadband will be rolled out to new locations in Argyll, Highland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland as engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, continue work on the ground.
The project is reaching into local areas, with places including Kingussie and Brora set to have fibre available to them for the first time, while Lerwick will get additional coverage. The first connections in the latest locations will start to go live this Autumn.
Stuart Robertson, HIE Director of Digital said: “With the first fibre broadband services now available to order in Orkney and Shetland it’s great that the roll-out is continuing for more of the islands communities. Also, over the next six months we will see coverage stretch further into the Badenoch and Strathspey area – in Kingussie we are building four new fibre cabinets which could reach more than 800 local homes and businesses.”
Fibre broadband enables multiple users in a home or business to access the internet, download and share large files at the same time at download speeds of up to 80 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps*. As the higher speeds become available, anyone interested in signing up for fibre-based services should contact their service provider.
The Digital Scotland rollout consists of two projects. One is led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) for its region and the other covers the rest of Scotland.
Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, said: “The rollout of fibre broadband across Scotland is one of the biggest and most complex civil engineering projects taking place in the UK today and we’re proud to be at the heart of it. It’s great to be announcing so many new locations this week as we celebrate our first, full year of deployment across Scotland.
“In any project on this scale things do change on the ground, for a variety of reasons. It’s important people understand that our plans aren’t set in stone but give the best possible forward view of where we expect to go next with the rollout.
“The website at www.digitalscotland.org/whereandwhen is updated frequently and is an excellent source of information as people can check the latest details based on their own postcodes. I’d also encourage people to register online for updates when there’s news for their postcode area, such as when fibre broadband becomes available.”
Further information is also available on HIE’s website at www.hie.co.uk/digital and Twitter @HIEDigital or Facebook at www.facebook.com/highlandsandislandsenterprise
List of next locations where work is starting
(*There may be some areas which have been announced before - they are included here to indicate there will be additional roll-out - often to reach customers connected direct to the exchange)
Argyll and Bute
Campbeltown, Dunoon and Rothesay
Ardgour, Boat Of Garten, Brora, Carrbridge, Castletown, Dulnain Bridge, Edderton, Grantown On Spey, Halkirk, Helmsdale, Invergarry, Kincraig, Kingussie, Kinlochleven, Lairg, Lybster, Nethybridge, Rogart, Strontian, Thrumster, Tomatin, Watten
Birsay, Orphir, Sandwick, Stromness, Westray
Brae, Cunningsburgh, Gott, Hamnavoe, Lerwick, Sandwick, Scalloway, Skellister, Sullom Voe, Sumburgh, Vidlin, Voe, Walls, Weisdale