High-speed fibre broadband will go live in Rothesay within the next six months, the Scottish Government has announced.
The town is among 43 places across rural Scotland which are next in line to receive the service, with around 54,000 more households and businesses set to benefit.
The Argyll and Bute roll-out is ahead of schedule, with Lochgilphead and Campbeltown also expected to see high-speed services from this summer - several months ahead of the original roll-out date, in the first half of 2016 - though no exact date has yet been provided for when the service will be available in Rothesay.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “We are seeing growing momentum in the roll-out of better broadband. The project is developing a high speed fibre network which is changing the face of broadband and helping fulfil the Scottish Government’s commitment to deliver world class connectivity in Scotland by 2020.”
Stuart Robertson, Director of Digital at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, which is leading the roll-out in the Highlands and Islands in partnership with teh Scottish Government and BT, said: “With each step we bring fibre to communities which could not have hoped to receive it without this investment. The ambitious roll-out is a huge engineering challenge. The first of our Argyll islands and the Outer Hebrides will see connections over the next six months as a direct result of the successful laying of hundreds of miles of subsea cables over the summer.”
Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, said: “The completion of our massive sub-sea cable laying programme has allowed us to make early inroads into delivering fibre for some of our island communities, well ahead of schedule. It’s great to see this progress when we’re still in the relatively early stages of the Digital Scotland partnership.
UK Government Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: “Our nationwide rollout of superfast broadband continues at pace and it’s fantastic to see the huge progress made in Scotland to date.
“Today’s announcement of the next 43 places in Scotland to benefit from our investment will see another 54,000 more homes and businesses join the 216,000 properties we’ve already reached. This huge boost to connectivity is a key part of the Government’s long term economic plan and we’re on track to reach 95 per cent of the UK by 2017.”
Fibre broadband enables multiple users in a home or business to access the internet, download and share large files at the same time and more quickly than ever before. As the higher speeds become available, anyone interested in signing up for fibre-based services should contact their service provider.
Due to the current network topography, and the economics of deployment, it is likely that some premises within selected exchange areas will not be able to access fibre-based broadband at the same point in the roll-out. Further announcements will be made as more areas are able to access the growing fibre infrastructure.