First Island to Gain Fibre Broadband

by Alastair Hamilton -

Homes and businesses in Lerwick are set to be the first island community to get fibre broadband as part of the £410 million Digital Scotland partnership.

Lerwick will receive the service as part of the Digital Highlands and Islands project which will deliver fibre broadband to 84% of premises across the region by 2016. Fibre broadband services offering speeds of up to 80Mbps will roll out in the autumn, as BT engineers deploy the technology.

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband initiative consists of two projects – one covering the Highlands and Islands area and the other covering the Rest of Scotland.

Stuart Robertson, HIE's Director of Digital Highlands and Islands, said: “The start on cabinets in Lerwick is great news for the local community.”

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland Director, said: “Today marks an important next phase in our deployment, with the first island community now set to connect to fibre broadband several months ahead of schedule. This technological sea change will help island locations such as Lerwick to compete and thrive in the 21st century.

The new fibre based network will be open to all communications providers on an equivalent basis. Its installation follows work by Shetland Telecom over the past two years involving the creation of a fibre "backbone" for broadband linking Shetland to Faroe and the Scottish mainland and providing connections to key public facilities.

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