Take a look at this map of the Western Isles explaining what stage plans are at for the rollout of superfast broadband.
Today’s announcement is for 3,600 premises in the Stornoway area but there are plans to extend this to 70 per cent coverage.
The fibre broadband announcement has been welcomed by local politicians.
Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil said: “High-speed broadband is critical in growing and maintaining the competitiveness of areas like Na h-Eileanan an Iar to ensure that our businesses can compete and residents can access modern digital services and today’s announcement will be of huge benefit to people across our islands.
“Poor broadband coverage is a handicap for many local businesses in our islands and I do appreciate there are still some harder to reach communities - I will continue to press BT to see if there are ways of getting even more people access to high-speed data connections.
“Also of great importance will be the location of cabinets by BT - to make sure that communities get broadband and are not bypassed by Fibre which would be very frustrating. I would hope that such a situation will not arise as it would be counter to the thrust of the whole initiative.”
Alasdair Allan, Western Isles MSP said: “It’s fantastic news that more and more communities across the Western Isles will soon begin to see the benefits of high quality digital connectivity. The Scottish Government has recognised there have been major problems with our geography which has hindered broadband connectivity in the past. This has inevitably impacted on the quality of people’s lives and handicapped the local economy.
“Today’s announcement that 3,600 homes are now enabled for Fibre Optic Broadband is a huge first step forward in eradicating these problems. We would not have seen this take place on the commercial market without the huge investment the Scottish Government and others have provided to overcome these challenges.
“The next challenge, and one I continue to discuss with HIE, is to ensure that we see broadband speeds improve in other areas where superfast broadband is not yet scheduled, and to minimise, as time goes on the number of households who have to rely on wireless and other solutions.”