Broadband News

Highlands and Islands announce next areas to benefit from faster broadband

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.


> The overall Scottish aim was 85% fibre based coverage by the end of 2015

What funding did Scotland actually get from the UK government, it was reported to be around nearly £70 million in 2011?

  • 21again
  • over 2 years ago £50m in Rest of Scotland

Not sure on the HIE component but there is some

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

Stop calling it fibre based. If part of it still runs over copper, it's not fibre. That's doing a disservice to readers who are misled into thinking that fttc is fibre and (for example) won't be affected by poor wiring or the neighbour's dodgy outdoor light.

  • ElBobbo
  • over 2 years ago

For an even more negative headline, there are still a lot of us who cannot get even 3Mbps just 4 miles south of Forres.

  • MikeCR
  • over 2 years ago

Absolutely, stop talking about "fibre" when you mean, I presume, FTTC, which as we know is copper to your premises, not fibre, yet some new visitors may be misled by this. Agree with ElBobbo.

  • CecilWard
  • over 2 years ago

Any chance of the Broadford, Skye exchange being modernised? No mention of Skye in that list, but the inclusion of Kyle of Lochalsh, just next door, on the mainland, is heartening.

I enjoy 1.75 Mbps downstream throughput, and am 4.6 miles from the exchange. I pay triple line rental as I have three lines to bring it up to a bearable 5.3 Mbps. I pay double per-MB traffic charges in the day time as I am, like everyone else round here, on a 20CN exchange, so BTW charges my ISP, Andrews & Arnold, double for per-MB peak-time traffic charges. We are all stuck in 2006.

  • CecilWard
  • over 2 years ago

> The overall Scottish aim was 85%

From absolutely, definitely 0% right now in Skye.

Why "definitely"? Because every local exchange is still stuck in 2006, not one upgraded from 20CN, all supplying only ADSL1, with its 7 Mbps max downstream throughput for the lucky few who are close enough.

  • CecilWard
  • over 2 years ago

It's so annoying seeing figures like 84.6% now, when the truth _locally_ is 0.00%. Averages are meaningless seeing as we live in two worlds, the haves and the mostly rural have-nots. Averages allow the government to basically lie, in a sense misusing statistics, because the spread of the figures is everything. People around here have voted the wrong way, from the viewpoint of Westminster then Holyrood, and it is perhaps this that has left them ou of the money-showers of recent history.

  • CecilWard
  • over 2 years ago

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