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Highlands and Islands broadband falls behind schedule
Thursday 29 November 2007 16:06:53 by John Hunt

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.


Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
"six months behind schedule and £1.6m over budget" - and yet we have people suggesting the Government should get involved in FTTH !
Posted by c_j_ over 9 years ago
"we have people suggesting the Government should get involved in FTTH !"

As usual, it's the Govmnt money, and private sector delivery.

With their ScottishPower heritage, Thus ought to be aware of the risks of the Highlands and Islands territory, but HQ probably replaced anyone who really knew anything with cheap schooleavers and graduates instead. Not to mention bidding low with a view to make it up after the contract is awarded.
Posted by Essex over 9 years ago
Maybe we should call in Sir (I am not to blame and will not resign)Ian Blair to investigate and report back to his mates. The above board whiter than white government of the day ... :p
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
herdwick better than the idea of doing nothing and not upsetting the status quo.

The over budget and delays are at the fault of the people carrying out the work not the people paying the bill.
Posted by wispy over 9 years ago
Planning and implementing a 5.8ghz radio network is far more complex and involved than fibre, in my opinion. Fibre you can run under roads and use existing infrastructure. A radio network is not as simple because its installation depends on the topology of the landscape. I can only imagine how difficult that must be in the highlands! In addition, planning is difficult enough - implementing it can be a totally different ball game and very unpredictable at times.
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