Broadband cable link complete - but Bute still faces a long wait

Sub-sea fibre-optic cables for the installation of superfast fibre broadband to Bute were laid between Ardbeg Point and Toward in June 2014.
Sub-sea fibre-optic cables for the installation of superfast fibre broadband to Bute were laid between Ardbeg Point and Toward in June 2014.

Superfast fibre-optic broadband is still more than a year away from Bute - despite the completion of a major network of sub-sea cables across the Highlands and Islands.

The Scottish Government announced this week that the laying of 250 miles of fibre-optic cable in 20 under-sea crossings throughout the Clyde, the Inner and Outer Hebrides and the Northern Isles is now complete.

Cable-laying work from Millport to Kilchattan Bay, and from Rothesay (in fact, from Ardbeg Point) to Toward, was actually carried out last summer - but though the cables are now in place, the need for better on-shore infrastructure and testing work means the new service isn’t due to be rolled out to Bute until the first half of 2016.

Nonetheless, news of the completion of the installation work has been widely welcomed, not least by Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell, who said: “The project is one of the most complex and difficult ever attempted in Scotland, and the installation of 250 miles of fibre optic under the sea in 20 crossings - nine of which start or finish (or both) in Argyll and Bute - was a massive task to plan and undertake.

“Its successful completion brings the day closer when the majority of people in Argyll and Bute will be able to access superfast broadband, which is of huge importance to business and to everyday domestic life.”

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband Project is being brought forward by the Scottish Government and delivered by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and BT. Click here for links to maps of the fibre network and the planned rollout across the Highlands and Islands.