Fibre broadband boost for Moray Firth communities

Broadband The extra cash is aimed at helping superfast broadband reach rural parts of Scotland

Related Stories

Communities around Inverness and along the Moray Firth will be the first to benefit from publicly funded high-speed broadband.

More than £260m is being invested by the public sector and BT for fibre broadband in areas where it is not seen as commercially viable.

Milton of Leys, Lhanbryde, Ardersier, Buckie, Fortrose, Hopeman, Culloden and Lossiemouth will all benefit.

They will all have access to fibre broadband from early next year.

The high-speed network is seen as a key economic driver.

Without public sector support its estimated less than a quarter of Scotland's properties will be able to access fibre connections by 2016.

Start Quote

Homes and businesses will be able to check availability over the coming weeks”

End Quote Stuart Robertson Highlands and Islands Enterprise

The deal should bring fibre capability to 600,000 Scottish homes and businesses, bringing together £158m of public funding and £106m from BT.

It is hoped that 85% of Scotland should have access to higher-speed broadband by the end of 2015, and 95% two years later.

Early priority will be given to rural small and medium-sized businesses to encourage economic growth in "hard-to-reach" areas.

Stuart Robertson, Highlands and Islands Enterprise's director of digital, said: "This first roll-out will be available to customers who are connected to a number of street cabinets within the eight exchange areas.

"Homes and businesses will be able to check availability over the coming weeks and there will be further work carried out in these areas to extend the reach as the roll-out progresses."

BT is to lay about 800km of fibre cable on land and a further 400km via 20 subsea crossings as part of the project.

Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, said of the plan: "It is crucial if local businesses are to continue to thrive in a competitive environment."

The scheme is funded by the Scottish government, Broadband Delivery UK, HIE and BT, along with funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Highlands & Islands

Weather

Inverness

15 °C 13 °C

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.