Highlands and Islands Enterprise have announced that: ‘As 2015 draws to a close, 150,000 homes and businesses in the Highlands and Islands now have access to next generation broadband.
‘More than 100,000 of these premises so far have been delivered through the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) project, the rest have been delivered commercially by BT.
‘Funded by the Scottish and UK Governments, by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and private sector partners BT, the £146m DSSB project is creating a brand new fibre network to reach hundreds of rural towns and villages which would not have been reached otherwise.
‘HIE is leading on the project for the partnership, and it’s on schedule. Hundreds of kilometres of fibre optic cabling has been built around the region, both on land and sub-sea, to create a main core frame. The next stage is the roll-out of the local infrastructure which brings services to communities – mainly green telecoms cabinets. This roll-out is also underway in every local authority area.
‘People in more than 100 towns and villages in our region can now order services if they want it – anyone can check availability on the Digital Scotland interactive map online here’.
The reality of the position of connectivity in Argyll & Bute – second from the bottom – is clear from the following table HIE have issued as part of this statement.
‘Coverage so far
- Shetland – almost 6,000 premises – 51% coverage
- Orkney – more than 5,000 premises – 45% coverage
- Outer Hebrides – more than 4,800 premises – 31% coverage
- Highland – including commercial coverage of 82,000 premises – 68% coverage
- Moray – including commercial coverage more than 36,000 premises – 80% coverage
- Argyll and Bute – including commercial coverage morine than 21,000 premises – 43%
It is also worth noting that ‘next generation broadband’ – indicates no more than the next generation to the one we’ve got.
It implies wrongly that this is the next generation available in the UK. It only means we’re moving up but remain structurally behind.