Good news for broadband in Scotland
The Scottish Executive has issued a press release detailing how every community in Scotland now has access to broadband.
Things all started happening in April 2005, when a contract was signed with BT after an open procurement exercise, that saw ADSL broadband being brought to 378 exchanges in rural and remote areas. These were exchanges that BT and other providers had failed to bring broadband to under purely commercial terms previously. There is one exchange that is running on an interim broadband solution at Foula in the Shetland Isles. There is 21 exchange areas in the Western Isles that are covered by a separate project called Connected Communities, service from this scheme can be ordered at www.hebrides.net.
The press release does acknowledge that ADSL is a distance limited technology, i.e. that as the phone line gets longer the slower speed service you will receive, and for lines over roughly 6km rapidly diminish. The 'out of reach' issue, is present across the UK and any country that uses ADSL, the Scottish Executive are working to identify clusters of properties without access to ADSL, and hope to investigate solutions during 2006.
Out of around 5500 exchanges in the UK, there are now around 55 without any planned broadband service, hopefully other regional agencies will look at what has taken place in Scotland and move forward rapidly.