Highlanders dig in to get ultrafast broadband
One of the most remote parts of mainland Britain has joined the digital revolution – thanks to their own spadework.
Businesses in Altnaharra, Sutherland, can now enjoy some of the fastest broadband speeds in the country, according to Openreach.
To speed up the process of installing the connections, local people and workers from Altnaharra Estate helped to lay about 4,800m of the cable needed.
Openreach said broadband speeds of up to 330Mbps were now possible.
“They’llsee theirinternet connections rocket”
Previously, Altnharra had some of the slowest connections in Scotland.
Several ultrafast broadband services are already up and running in Skerray, with engineers from the provider continuing to work over the coming weeks to get as many household connected as possible.
Openreach chief executive Clive Selley said: “We promised the people of Altnaharra and Skerray their new ultrafast services by this autumn, and we’ve delivered to the majority in Altnaharra ahead of schedule and are on track in Skerray.
“They’ll see their internet connections rocket from some of the slowest speeds in Scotland to some of the fastest, and it’s great to hear that the first local
residents and businesses are already making use of the new, ultrafast network.
“We’re 100% committed to using our digital expertise and innovation to bring high speed services to as many remote communities as possible, including supporting the Scottish Government in their ambition
to reach every premises in Scotland.”
As part of the ultrafast pilots, local people and workers from the Altnaharra Estate have helped to dig in around 4,800 metres of cable.
During the installation of the ultrafast broadband, Openreach began testing
a series of new devices such as the Ditch Witch, a digger designed to reduce costs of delivering Fibreto
The digger is to provide a quicker and more efficient way of burying armoured fibre cables, and following its success in Sutherland, the newly designed equipment
will be rolled across the UK.
An Openreach spokesperson spoke of the advantages this new technology will have in rolling out faster broadband across the country. They added: “The Ditch Witch has a number of benefits. Its small size means we can often avoid
traffic management and road closures, plus it is agile enough to dig off-road, up steep terrain and in wooded areas.
“It’s now being used to roll out fibre in other parts of the UK, helping to connect up communities who would otherwise be beyond reach.”