Good news for those in the areas of Ardersier, Buckie, Milton of Leys, Fortrose, Hopeman, Inverness, Culloden, Lhanbryde and Lossiemouth. A total of some 14,400 homes and businesses are set to gain fibre based broadband via the Highlands and Islands project which has announced these areas as the first to benefit from the project.
The fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) based service is expected to be available to order from early 2014, and there will be more announcements each quarter as areas shift into the build phase.
"Commercial rollout taking place across the UK would have reached no more than one in five premises in the Highlands and Islands So the project’s target of 84% coverage levels for the region will represent a significant step change.
This first rollout of fibre broadband will be available to customers who are connected to a number of street cabinets within the eight exchange areas. Homes and businesses will be able to check availability over the coming weeks and there will be further work carried out in these areas to extend the reach as the rollout progresses."Stuart Robertson, HIE’s Director of Digital Highlands and Islands
While the project clearly has some challenging geography to conquer, the scale of the task is underlined by the above comment, that the commercial roll-outs will only reach 20% of premises, so while the 84% figure looks low compared to other parts of the UK, it shows there is a lot of work to be done.
Some may have spotted the a discrepancy between some headlines and the 14,400 we have quoted, this is because around 1,825 premises are set to benefit from commercial infill work on the Elgin (187 properties) and Inverness Macdhui exchanges.