The Highlands and Islands region is not new to broadband projects, having had a number in various parts of the region over the last ten years to bring first generation broadband speeds to as many areas as possible. As part of the BDUK and Scottish Government projects the region is set to receive £120m of investment to bring superfast broadband to the around 360,000 residents and businesses that live across the 39,000 km of land.
The funding level is significantly higher than for most other parts of the UK, simply because the region is the most challenging, both in terms of distances between properties and also in getting capacity to the various islands.
The Highlands and Islands Enterprise are in discussions with BT over the programme for the region, which is meant to deliver 'world class connectivity'. Hopefully the full EU 2020 targets are being considered, i.e. everyone to have access to 30 Mbps or faster, and at least half actually using a 100 Mbps service.
There is no news at this time on how much BT is willing to invest, but we would presume the amount will significantly boost the funding available by adding something like £60m to £120m to the project. It is BT's ability to raise this sort of additional funding, that is resulting in them featuring so heavily in the UK superfast broadband projects.