Broadband News

Two remote Scottish communities gain full fibre broadband

If you are of a nervous disposition look away now, but two small communities in Scotland have gained access to full fibre ahead of millions of other premises in the United Kingdom via Openreach.

Altnaharra has some 60 premises now that can make the jump from old ADSL to full fibre with a range of speeds from 38 Mbps to 330 Mbps and this has involved the community too in terms of digging in the fibre.

The difference the fast connection has made is massive. For the first time, I can download and upload documents and forms from work-essential websites like the Scottish Government’s Rural Payments and Inspections Division and Scottish Natural Heritage, and send emails in seconds.

It’s made all kinds of online paperwork easier – previously I’d spend hours trying then checking to see if my message or form had eventually been sent…often not. Despite having two separate connections, no-one else could be online at the same time as it would totally grind to a halt, which often meant working at night to avoid an internet freeze.

Now I can check things like weather forecasts and river levels instantly. Sending images and files has proven hugely successful and is saving time all round. It also means that I don’t have to limit anyone else in my household from using the internet.

The arrival of high-speed broadband has truly changed our future in Altnaharra - and will assist in moving our business and the community into the 21st century.

Pieter Bakker, estate manager of the 36,600-acre Altnaharra Estate

Skerray is the second community benefiting though the roll-out is a bit further behind that in Altnaharra, in Skerray the first customer is scheduled to have live full fibre Internet access today. As the roll-out progresses in the two areas premises should get a card dropped through the door to let them know they can order.

Availability search for Altnaharra
Availability of ultrafast full fibre in Altnaharra

The postcodes where service is already available have been flagged on our availability system, which also means that broadband package searches will filter to highlight what is available.

Some may think the FTTP in Skerray is as far north as Openreach go with full fibre but Kirkwall, Orkney has some already, though this is slightly different as the two postcodes are from a new development in Kirkwall. One week ago we reported on their being 4,421 premises with an FTTP option in Scotland and such is the pace of change that this is now up at 5,549 premises and this news will add another 60+ to the total.


Great to see.

  • ValueforMoney
  • over 2 years ago

Nice to see what can be achieved when a community works together with Openreach even in the remotest area of the UK. Much more satisfying than complaining and getting nowhere. It will give the residents something to enjoy in the warm during the winter in what is the coldest place in the Mainland UK.

  • jumpmum
  • over 2 years ago

Andrew I saw your tweet about being on the maps, they show as being native FTTP and not as FTTC/FTTP does this mean they are removing the copper?

  • jumpmum
  • over 2 years ago

The FTTC/FTTP combined layer is not updated at such a fast rate, so will appear on that layer in a few more days time.

So nothing to do with removing copper and more to do with time to generate tiles when underlying data is changing every day.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

Thanks for the explanation

  • jumpmum
  • over 2 years ago

Yet again openreach going for the publicity of serving remote areas and a tiny handful of customers yet ignoring hundreds of thousands in more urban areas. An exchange with dozens of aging, often pre-WW2 cabinets with basic ADSL and with no plans at all to offer FTTC service shows exactly where their priorities are.

  • M100
  • over 2 years ago

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