|Concerns have been raised over Superfast Broadband for Kinlochbervie.|
|Crossed-wires and mixed-messages are being blamed for concerns being raised that Kinlochbervie would not be included in the £146 million project to bring fibreoptic-based super-fast broadband to the Highlands and Islands.|
Correspondence received from BT Openreach appeared to confirm fears that Kinlochbervie's telephone exchange would not be upgraded to provide super-fast broadband because telephone subscribers are directly connected to the exchange rather than being supplied by street-level cabinets.
Lesley Gallagher and Stuart Robertson from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, who are leading the project, have both been in contact to re-assure us that we won't be overlooked. New street-level cabinets are planned although they stressed that for technical reasons it may not be possible to provide the service to every household in the surrounding community.
Both Durness and Scourie community development companies are already looking at alternative community-based solutions in the event that no upgraded service is provided or to provide for those subscribers who may be too far from the exchange to receive the fibre-based service.
Kinlochbervie Community Council discussed the subject at their meeting on Tuesday evening and our own development company have been asked to liase with Durness and Scourie on the matter of a combined community based alternative.
HIE have been asked to keep all of the NW Highlands communities updated on a regular basis with any news on either timescales or infrastructure issues. They have advised us that the timescales for delivering the service remain as they were previously published: the second half of 2016.
Access to Highspeed broadband services is vitally important to the future economic survival of businesses in remote areas such as ours, and of course with more and more media facilities being delivered online it is just as important to domestic subscribers as well.