Scottish broadband project delayed & over budget

The Scottish Executive scheme designed to link up some of Scotland’s more remote Highland Council areas has run into problems.

Some £69m has been funnelled into the project but it is now 6 months behind schedule and over budget, requiring an extra £1.6m to complete.

It's understood that telecoms group THUS (Demon Internet) ran into problems when trying to access hilltop sites for radio masts to deliver the Highlands service:

A report to the resources committee also revealed significantly low numbers of sites connected to allow the roll out of broadband.

Twenty-eight were scheduled to be connected by June, however, only six were, and only 21 of the 67 expected by September. By 2009, a total of 452 sites are scheduled to be connected.

Officials said in the report that the majority of those still to be installed this year would be by the end of November.

Several councils have now raised concerns that the delays could seriously disadvantage remote areas.

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