Outer Hebrides businesses to get faster broadband

It has been revealed that companies in the Outer Hebrides are to get faster business broadband services.

The faster connections, which are being made available to more than 3,600 commercial and residential properties, are already available in Stornoway. This is the first phase of the £146m initiative to bring faster services to the region. The roll-out has already begun and it is estimated that the whole of the Outer Hebrides will have access to faster broadband by the end of next year.

The new services are the result of a partnership between Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). BT’s local network division, Openreach, is carrying out the installation of the necessary infrastructure and funding for the project to deliver faster residential and business broadband has come from both the UK government and the Scottish government, with additional funds made available by HIE and BT.

The chief executive of BT, Gavin Patterson, said that this particular project is one of the most complicated that the company has tackled for some time. It is the first time that BT has had to lay 20 seabed cables in one operation.

The news has been welcomed by the deputy first minister, John Swinney, who said that these areas would not have been able to access the faster services without this essential investment. The digital economy minister, Ed Vaizey, has also voiced his support for the project, saying that the development is “brilliant news”.