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Grimsay

Our region's first ultrafast island.

Great broadband will make a huge difference to our business, and for the islands as well. Being able to work online and at a distance means you can live where you want but still work a city style job.
Hazel Smith, Manager, Uist Wool

Fibre fast island

Grimsay is a tiny island roughly three miles long, and half again in width, in the Outer Hebrides. Joined to North Uist and Benbecula by a causeway, a single-track road links most of the island's croft and fishing settlements together.

The community made national digital headlines this summer as it is packing a brand new social and economic punch. It’s the Highlands and Islands first fully ultrafast island community.

The 113 households on Grimsay can order services which can deliver 1Gbps download – this is around 18.5 times faster than the UK’s current average of 54 Mbps. The roll out of fibre to Grimsay was part of the publicly funded Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband project (DSSB).

Before the fibre programme Grimsay, and the wider Benbecula, South and North Uist area had little or no access to mainstream broadband and were connected over radio network or satellite.

 

When we started planning the Digital Scotland rollout, Western Isles was hands down the most difficult place to build. It has the lowest population density in the UK and many communities are comprised of remote and scattered households.
Robert Thorburn, Partnership director for Scotland, Openreach
There are five subsea fibre optic cables linking the Outer Hebrides to each other and the mainland. The longest subsea link was almost 50 miles and was landed in Braighe near Stornoway in 2014. The first superfast broadband home went live in June 2015.
Stuart Robertson, Director of Digital, HIE