Shetland Islands Broadband Project to Boost Rural Connectivity
Two remote island communities are set to benefit from next-generation connectivity as part of the deal.
Shetlands Islands Council has secured government funding to expand its existing fibre networks as the local authority seeks to boost connectivity across northern Shetland.
£1.91 million of funding from the UK Government’s Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) initiative will benefit public sector buildings such as schools, care centres and health centres on the islands of Yell and Unst.
Tech consultancy firm FarrPoint supported the council’s bid by underlining how a full fibre broadband network could help to deliver next-generation healthcare services, such as the provision of digital telecare and the monitoring of elderly residents’ health in the home environment.
The Independent IT advisory firm has already enabled the deployment of superfast broadband in 250 towns and villages across the Highlands and Islands.
Alastair Cooper, Chair of the Council’s Development Committee, said: “This is good news for the Northern Isles, who have historically suffered from poor broadband and connectivity, while other parts of Shetland have seen upgrades.
“This is a positive improvement for public services in Yell and Unst, which lays a foundation of connectivity that can be extended to domestic and businesses premises in the future.”
Darren Kilburn, principal consultant at FarrPoint, said the project will help to support the “long-term viability” of the communities on Yell and Unst and will dramatically improve digital connectivity.
He said: “This is an excellent example of local knowledge, and an understanding of what the island communities need, support by central government funding. This project will make a huge difference to the Northern Isles and supports the long-term viability of Yell and Unst communities by ensuring inhabitants retain heritage and culture while having access to the most reliable and future-proofed public services.
“It is a privilege for FarrPoint to be involved in gaining funding for this project and in continuing to support this project through to delivery.”