Highlands and Islands broadband progress update

The Scottish Executive has issued an update to its Highlands and Islands project, which aims to broadband enable schools, libraries, museums and leisure centres in some of Scotland’s remotest areas.

Unfortunately the plan appeared to suffer a setback last year after it was reported to be £1.6m over its £70m budget and six months behind schedule.

However a report to councillors on the Highland's resources committee suggests that the situation may be improving. It noted that 111 of the 452 sites to be connected by 2009 had now been completed, while the remaining ones would be done within the original timeframe:

The authority has now said it has agreed a schedule with telecoms company Thus plc to deliver the remaining sites within the original two-year roll-out period, and that work is progressing well. The 111 sites connected so far include the first in Argyll and Bute, which went live before Christmas.

In a statement released to BBC Scotland, the local authority said: "The partnership continues to work hard to meet agreed target dates to deliver the benefits this project will bring to children, schools, and the wider community through the roll-out of high speed broadband access."

The BBC News Online article states that the first sites in Shetland will go live by the end of this month and in Orkney during February.

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