Broadband connection across the Islands

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The roll-out of fibre based broadband on the Outer Hebrides is reaching out further to Harris, Scalpay and N Uist over the next six months.

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) project is progressing ahead of schedule with parts of Back and Barvas already able to order the new high speed services.

Additional connections will start coming through for some in Point and Shawbost within weeks.

Work will continue in these areas and the partnership project being led for the region by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is reaching out further between now and the Spring to places including Ness, Callanish, Leverburgh, Lochmaddy and Scalpay. (See full list below)

This stage will draw in a further 2,000 homes and businesses to the new network. Many will see connections available by the Spring.

Stuart Robertson, Director of Digital at HIE, said: “People have been quick to embrace the arrival of fibre based broadband in the Stornoway area. It’s great that we are pushing ahead of schedule to reach other areas of the islands.”

Fibre broadband enables multiple users in a home or business to access the internet, download and share large files at the same time at download speeds of up to 80 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps.

As the higher speeds become available, anyone interested in signing up for fibre-based services should contact their broadband service provider.

The coverage forms part of a three year £146m investment, funded by the Scottish Government, the UK Government, HIE and private sector partner BT, with engineers from BT’s local network business Openreach delivering the project on the ground.

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “The Digital Scotland rollout has now passed more than half the homes and business premises currently included in our plans for the Highlands and Islands and it’s fantastic that our engineers are now reaching into some very small, rural communities, which have so much to gain.

“We’ll continue to work hard to maintain the great progress to date and bring fast fibre to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

“BT is determined to make sure that Scotland remains at the forefront of the high-speed digital revolution. We’re proud to be working hand in hand with our partners to deliver a truly Digital Scotland. Everyone can keep up to speed with the latest developments at www.hie.co.uk/digital.”

Further information is also available on Twitter @HIEdigital