While every announcement about milestones around the many broadband projects across the UK gets criticised it is the case that coverage is improving and 4 out of 5 in Scotland now have access to a superfast connection, or if you prefer a negative headline 1 in 5 cannot get a connection faster than 30 Mbps. Fortunately the roll-outs in Scotland are not stopping yet and the Highlands and Islands Enterprise has given a more information on the next areas likely to benefit.
Another 4,000 premises on the mainland and islands in the Argyll area will see fibre based (VDSL2) broadband arrive including Machrihanish and Tighnabruaich and the island communities of Kilchattan Bay, Port Charlotte, Scarinish and Tobermory. 1,200 premises in Ullapool, Plockton and Kyle of Lochalsh. Also 2,000 premises in Balallan, Berneray, Borve, Callanish, Carloway, Crossbost, Garrabost (Point), Harris (Tarbert), Leverburgh, Lochmaddy, North Tolsta, Port Of Ness (Ness), Scalpay, Shawbost.
Of course not everyone will get a superfast speed from the roll-out, hence why in our tracking for Argyll and Bute for example we believe superfast coverage at 30 Mbps or faster reaches 38.2% of premises (another 1.4% fall in the 24 to 30 Mbps bracket) and the distance to the street cabinet means another 5.5% are not likely to get a superfast speed, but even then for many the speed will be better than their existing ADSL service.
The overall Scottish aim was 85% fibre based coverage by the end of 2015 and with fibre based coverage sitting at 84.6% now (comprising 80% availability at 30 Mbps or better, 0.8% at 24 to 30 Mbps and then 3.8% getting under 24 Mbps from VDSL2) it looks almost impossible that the project goal will be missed across Scotland as a whole.