The £70m government funded project to provide broadband to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland is running six months behind schedule and £1.6m over budget according to the BBC news. £60m of the total cost was committed by the Scottish Executive with local authorities contributing £9m. Highland council will now have to put forward another £1.6m to cover rising costs.
Thus, the contractor operating the project, have run into problems accessing hilltop sites to place radio masts that help deliver the service. 28 locations were expected to be connected by June, but only 6 had a working connection by this date. September was supposed to see 67, but only 21 were live. 850 locations made up of council sites, libraries and primary and secondary schools are due to have the service that provides a minimum Internet connection speed of 4 Mbps (megabits per second) by March 2009.
The project mainly uses 5.8GHz radio connections to link sites using wireless connections, with Fibre being used in some towns. Existing BT infrastructure will also be used where there is no affordable alternative. More details about the project, including scheduled connection dates can be found on the Pathfinder North website.