South Bute still in dark over broadband future

Despite a query from Argyll and Bute MP Alan Reid, residents of Kilchattan Bay are still no clearer on where the village lies on the priority list for broadband service improvements.
Despite a query from Argyll and Bute MP Alan Reid, residents of Kilchattan Bay are still no clearer on where the village lies on the priority list for broadband service improvements.

People living at the south end of Bute are still in the dark over when ‘next generation broadband’ (NGB) services will reach their homes and businesses.

The island’s MP, Alan Reid, has been told that because of the need to lay new sub-sea cabling, homes and businesses on the island will not be included in the early stages of a partnership project between BT and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to improve broadband provision in remote, rural and island communities.

Mr Reid contacted HIE to find out more details of how Bute would fit in to the NGB project and received a lengthy reply from Stuart Robertson, HIE’s director of digital, who said that while Bute would not feature in the early stages of the project, “at least some of the premises served by the Kilchattan Bay exchange will receive NGB through our existing project”.

That, however, did not satisfy Mr Reid, who said: “It is very frustrating for communities not to be told if they will be included in Highlands & Islands Enterprise’s Next Generation Broadband project.

“Nobody knows if they need to develop community broadband plans or not. BT, HIE and the Scottish Government must get together and provide better information to the public than this.”

* More on this story in this week’s issue of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, October 3.