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Better Connected

Meet a few of the businesses based in our region's first ultrafast capable island.

How connectivity is creating choice for island businesses

The businesses on Grimsay have welcomed the arrival of fibre direct to their doors. It’s lifechanging in both social and economic terms – and they believe the benefits will help make their future more sustainable.

Uist Wool, a spinning mill and wool centre, is a traditional industry selling to an international audience. Manager Hazel Smith commented: "Being able to work online and at a distance is hugely important - it means you can live where you want to live, but still do a city style job."  

Local people see good broadband as an intrinsic part of keeping and attracting a young workforce. “The age demographic of the island is changing and I think that’s because the internet is improving. It will make a huge difference to our business, and to the wider islands,” said Hazel.

Robin Spratt, who runs artisan business Hebridean Candles on the island agrees. Before the arrival of full fibre, Robin and his wife Michelle, had a satellite broadband system with very limited data. Now they’re able to use their fast connection to process electronic payments as well as enjoy all the household uses many take for granted - like keeping in touch with their grown-up family and watching catch-up TV services.

Rural life can be tough, and people have been talking about depopulation of the islands for years. Get proper connections and a decent mobile signal and a lot of problems will start to resolve themselves. It opens up new possibilities for businesses.
Robin Spratt, Hebridean Candles

Grimsay makes national news for digital access

The BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones came to Grimsay to meet some of the islanders set to benefit from better broadband. Watch his report.

BBC news coverage
Openreach Grimsayfibre 39