A £70 million project to bring high-speed broadband internet connections to thousands of people across Scotland has been completed. The Pathfinder North programme links 801 schools, libraries and council buildings in the Highlands, Moray, Argyll and Northern Isles with super-fast broadband. With five regional authorities involved in the scheme, it is one of the UK’s largest ever broadband investments.
Highland Council’s resources committee chairwoman Carolyn Wilson said: “The Pathfinder North scheme represents a major investment in rural locations, which depend so heavily on good communications. We are looking forward to using the network to the best of its capability, ensuring that we continue to meet the needs of all the communities we serve” Ms Wilson added that the provision of high-speed broadband is great news for the establishments involved – all of whom will now benefit from quicker download rates and smoother web browsing.
An evaluation period will take place between March and April, designed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Pathfinder North project in preparation for similar schemes in the future. Concerns have been raised previously about the broadband access offered to people in rural locations across Britain – especially in the Scottish Highlands.
Prime minister Gordon Brown last month announced the government would invest £1 billion in providing Britain with ultrafast broadband access. The cash would ensure more than 90 per cent of Britons – including many of those in rural areas – could enjoy state-of-the-art speeds.