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Highlands and Islands in £146 million fibre boost
Tuesday 26 March 2013 10:16:06 by Andrew Ferguson

While people can fight over the exact percentages the UK has some of the best coverage of basic ADSL services in Europe, and it seems that with the latest super-fast broadband project announcement for the Highlands and Islands we are heading rapidly towards a similar position for next generation services.

Today sees the announcement of a £146 million project led by the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) with BT as the delivering body. BT is investing £19.4 million and some £12 million is from the HIE itself, the balance being a mixture of BDUK and Scottish Government funding. At this stage it is expected that 84% of homes and businesses in the region will have access to fibre broadband (mostly FTTC and some FTTP) by the end of 2016.

"This ambitious project is a game changer for the Highlands and Islands. It will roll out modern, fast and reliable broadband to areas that could not have hoped to have it introduced commercially.

Digital connectivity is essential to today’s social and business activity. High-speed fibre broadband in the Highlands and Islands will make a real contribution to our communities’ prosperity, particularly for people in remote and rural areas.

It offers opportunities for new ways of working, innovation, enhanced public services, access to international markets and provides the infrastructure needed by business sectors like energy, life sciences, tourism and business services."

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HIE

The remoteness is highlighted by the stat that the project is likely to see some 400km of subsea cable being deployed as part of 19 crossings linking the remote island. For those in the areas that are remote even by the standards of the region, there will be a £2.5 million innovation fund that will look at smaller scale innovative solutions to extend the coverage of faster broadband.


Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
Historic, congrats to all!
Posted by herdwick over 4 years ago
How many people are in this area ? 450k ???
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
You can't be anything but impressed at the scale of the budget here. That's more than is going into the Cornwall project!

It is also 4 times that of North Yorkshire, which has England's 2nd-lowest population density. That gives an idea of how the costs can spiral in the most remote areas

Hope it lives up to expectations...
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
If you extract 19 submarine cables of 400Km, and assume the £4m refenced for the Isle of sillies, your left with £50m for FTTC to c169k premises (est of 84%) at the £300 per premise mark.

The fact its happening is worth saluting. Whinging on lack of itemisation and cost transparency can be left to another day.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
Presumably none of those 169k properties are part of the commercial rollout at all.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
400km of undersea cable is going to be ~£15m
Posted by billyliar over 4 years ago
Seems like a lot of questions arising from the comments..?
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
@themanstan - thanks for ~£15m have you a reference? Thay Isles of Scilly link of c£4m looks weird and the match funding was weirder. Any sense of norm in H&I breaks down, so many exchanges daisy chained on microwave, I thought the 800KM was low. It would be nice to see a count of HOP estbalished and cabinets planned.
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