Local News

Issues Raised Over R100North Rollout

Orkney Constituency MSP Liam McArthur, LibDem will be meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Kate Forbes, to discuss issues over the rollout of Broadband to the islands. A ‘Technological Sea Change’ for Islands: Subsea Cables Laid for Broadband Connectivity

Liam McArthur said:

“The Scottish Government made clear a commitment to rural and island communities that 100% superfast broadband coverage would be achieved.  While the deadline for this has passed, the fear now is that the R100 programme will fall far short of delivering the universal coverage promised.

“Indeed, the government’s own maps reveal the extent to which many if not most households in some islands and communities are set to miss out even after the subsea cables have been laid.  Rather than delivering the digital infrastructure desperately needed, this could make worse the existing digital divisions both within and between communities in Orkney.

“I’m pleased the Cabinet Secretary acknowledged these concerns and agreed to meet for further discussions about how to address these shortcomings in the R100 programme.  Given the urgency of the situation, I look forward to meeting Ms Forbes and her officials before the summer recess.”

The installation of subsea cables to the islands, part of the Scottish Government’s R100North £384million project being delivered by Openreach is expected to be completed by September. Connecting up the islands of:

  • Colonsay, Iona and Lismore in Argyll and Bute Council
  • Eigg in the Highland Council area
  • Eday, Flotta, Hoy, Rousay, Sanday, Shapinsay and Stronsay in Orkney Islands Council
  • Fair Isle, Unst, Whalsey and Yell in Shetland Islands Council
Rousay and Eynhallow seen from Mainland. Image credit Martin Laird

1 reply »

  1. Rather than lay expensive underwater cables why not expand coverage and strengthen 4g mobile signals across the islands. In Orphir I use mobile broadband because I cannot access the higher speeds via copper phone connection to the nearest fibre cabinet. Even with fibre there will be many properties on the islands that are not able to receive high speeds because they will be too far from
    the cabinets that have to be installed there. For me it is a no-brainer – arguments welcome.
    100% coverage of high speed bb in Scotland by fibre is not financially viable.