BT has announced an £8m investment that will make existing microwave radio links that serve Orkney and Shetland redundant. The investment will see a new fibre link from Shetland that connects to the existing SHEFA2 undersea cable that links the islands to the mainland.
The improvement in connectivity means that BT will be rolling out its ADSL2+ service in the next spring to the Shetlands. This also means businesses will also gain access to Ethernet services which offer speeds up to 10 Gbps and can provide uncontended bandwidth.
While this initial investment will mainly mean those with line lengths of less than 4km (~48dB downstream attenuation) will see the most improvements, the move to ADSL2+ should mean most will see their upload speeds double. The key advantage is that it will make any subsequent steps that see FTTC/P systems installed cheaper to deploy, as the BT Wholesale WBC network will be available to perform backhaul duty.