A few more cabinets in another corner of the Highlands and Islands may seem a small thing in comparison to the size of the project but each cabinet going live for VDSL2 does count and even more so when its exchange only lines that have been re-engineered to either give them a new street cabinet with VDSL2 twin or an all-in-one PCP/DSLAM cabinet.
The Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its latest news release is highlighting that a number of streets in central Inverness that previously were exchange only based have been upgraded and looking at the rate of cabinets going live in Inverness there was 8 cabinets in the last 4 weeks. While many previously exchange only lines in the area now have a superfast broadband option available to them if they choose to upgrade we can still see some exchange only lines so hopefully more will be done over time.
"It is exceptionally difficult, if not impossible, to do business now without good internet and it is fast becoming an essential part of our daily lives. We need to do what we can to get better service to people quicker than ever before. Indeed, digital connectivity is one of the most raised issues by my constituents and whilst there are still issues around internet access and speed in many parts of my constituency yet to be resolved, I am always keen to highlight good progress such as this recent development. Access to superfast broadband will make a big difference to businesses like the Ironworks and the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering superfast broadband to all premises by 2021 will go a long way to improving connectivity to the most rural parts of Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey."Highland MP Drew Hendry
Our coverage tracking for the area shows the pace of change for the area since 2012 and with superfast coverage (over 24 Mbps) currently at 78.62% with a further 10.5% able to get a VDSL2 service but under 24 Mbps there is clearly more to do.
Exchange only lines are not confined to Inverness, across the whole UK we believe that there are some 2% (i.e. 580,000 premises) still on an exchange only line without access to Virgin Media or another superfast provider. Of course a small percentage is no comfort to those still stuck in that 2% but the fact it is a shrinking pool of premises is to be welcomed.