More than 122,000 households and businesses across the Highlands and Islands now have access to their fastest-ever broadband speeds through the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband rollout.
New street cabinets to deliver the high-speed services to the first of the premises in Sullom Voe in Shetland, Dores at Loch Ness and Connel in Argyll are among the latest to go live, with 70% of the region’s total number of premises now able to connect.
More than 120 villages which would not have been reached through the commercial market are now linked to the fibre network.
To benefit from the faster connection speeds, residents need to sign up for a fibre service with their chosen provider, as upgrades aren’t automatic.
Other local communities are now set to follow, including John O’Groats in Caithness, Tankerness in Orkney and Castlebay in the Outer Hebrides. (list below) Highlands and Islands Enterprise is leading the £146m Digital Scotland project in the region.
Engineers expect the first fibre connections to be available in the villages by this autumn* as Openreach, BT’s local network business, continues work on the ground.
This first phase of the roll-out is to set to reach 84% of premises by the end of 2016.
Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable broadband connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps** and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from.
Local people can check the interactive map to find out if they can get the service and further information is also available on Twitter @HIEDigital
*Deployment plans are subject to change. The expectations reflected in this plan are reasonable, but because our rollout involves risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ from those expressed or implied.
**These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary. Speeds available to the customer are dependent on being connected to an enabled cabinet and the length of line from the cabinet to the premise. Not all customers will be able to benefit.
Latest areas where work is starting between now and the autumn. Some of these areas have already been announced as work having started, but it will see additional roll-out during this period (marked as Infill).
Argyll and Bute
Appin, Barbreck, Bowmore, Coll, Craignure (Infill), Dervaig, Jura, Kilfinan, Kilmore, Lochgoilhead, Port Askaig, Portnahaven
Carron (Infill), Dornoch (Infill), Durness, Fort William (Infill), Gairloch, Garve, Golspie, Invershin (Infill), John O'Groats, Kilchoan, Kinlochewe, Kishorn, Portmahomack (Infill), Shieldaig, Tongue
Buckie (Infill), Findhorn (Infill)
Kirkwall (Infill), Tankerness
Castlebay, Eriskay, Northbay
There is a list of towns and villages here where first services are available.