Broadband News

1 in 3 homes and businesses in Shetland gain access to fibre based broadband

After all the complaints in the last 2 years about the BDUK projects concentrating on semi-urban areas, we think it is safe to describe the first wave of cabinets that have just gone live in the Shetland Islands as improving broadband speeds in a rural area.

"This first phase of roll-out on the Shetland Islands is opening up fibre based services to one in three homes and businesses in one swoop. It’s a great start.

The Shetland Islands have links across the world in leading sectors including energy, creative industries, tourism and food and drink. Access to better broadband can open up opportunities for business growth across all these sectors, and at home makes for more flexibility in every day life.

Having now pushed through almost all of Shetland’s existing cabinets our next steps are to build the new networks and cabinets needed to reach customers currently connected directly to their exchanges.

Stuart Robertson, Director of Digital Highlands and Islands

This first phase has enabled 17 cabinets so that people with lines on those cabinets can now order a FTTC based service and this brings much faster broadband to over 4,000 homes and businesses on the Islands.

Using our ever nimbly fingers we have managed to identify sixteen of the cabinets that have gone live, the majority are on the Lerwick exchange cabinets i.e. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,15 and 16. Cunningsburgh cabinet 1 and Sumburgh cabinet 2 have also gone live. Fingers crossed that with a low median download speed currently of 5.5 Mbps and so many cabinets going live that when we look at the Q4 2014 speed test results in the New Year there will there signs of an uplift.

This wave of cabinets is the not full story, more cabinets to be enabled in the Sumburgh, Cunningsburgh and Lerwick and the communities of Voe, Symbister, Brae, Scalloway, and Sandwick should also see services improving as the roll-out continues.


You have a slightly strange idea of what is rural. Lerwick has a population of nearly 7,000 and is not very different from small towns that were included in the commercial roll-out in other parts of Scotland. Of course the rest of Shetland is genuinely rural. Highlands & Islands Enterprise has a greater commitment - and more money - to help thinly populated areas than the rest of the Digital Scotland programme.

  • gah789
  • over 6 years ago

I don't think it's that strange. Brackley in South Northants is often called rural and it has a population of 12,000 and is less than 15 miles from two large towns and two minutes from the M40.

  • AndrueC
  • over 6 years ago

I knew Brackley well in the past. It wasn't rural then and I am sure that I wouldn't think it to be so now. When you live in country areas with 10 times as many sheep as people and 8-10 miles to the nearest settlement with more than 1,000 people, you have a different definition of rural than in the South or Midlands of England. Around the world settlements with more than 5,000 people tend to be classified as small towns.

  • gah789
  • over 6 years ago

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