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Hebrides News


High speed broadband has arrived on Scalpay.

A wireless link is providing access to the same mainstream fibre based services as is available on the mainland, without the need for subsea cabling.

Wireless To The Cabinet (WTTC) technology has been installed as part of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) project, which is a £146 million investment rolling out fibre based services across the Highlands and Islands.

To bring superfast services to many parts of Scalpay, a radio mast with dishes has been installed by Openreach engineers at North Harbour.

The dishes send and receive radio signals from a site at Sunnyhill more than 6km away at Tarbert, in Harris.

These signals are then relayed to green cabinets which serve the local homes and businesses. There are two on Scalpay, one at the exchange and the other at Outend.

For people using broadband on the island, it will be exactly the same as if they were connected up to cabled fibre cabinets, used in towns and villages across Scotland. The increase in speed and subsequent benefits are exactly the same.

Customers’ premises are connected up to the broadband cabinet using phone lines so there is no need for any special dish equipment in the home or business.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is leading on the next generation broadband rollout with around 70% of Western Isles premises part of the new network so far.

Donnie Morrison, of the HIE Digital team, commented:  “The publicly subsidised Connected Communities network has been delivering broadband for Scalpay until now.

“We’re delighted that mainstream next generation broadband has now arrived. Word is spreading and more than 30 premises are already connected in just a month.”


Wireless link brings superfast broadband to Scalpay

19 June 2017