Michael Russell welcomes next step to superfast broadband in Argyll

Argyll & Bute MSP Michael Russell has welcomed the news that the most complex installation of subsea links ever attempted in Scotland has been completed, and that this marks another big step towards the provision of superfast fibre broadband to many parts of his constituency.

Commenting on the announcement this morning, Mr Russell said:

“This is great news for many people in Argyll & Bute. Complaints about broadband speed are common in the constituency, but the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband Project, brought forward by the Scottish Government and being delivered by HIE and BT, will provide huge increases in speed and reliability across the area over the next couple of years.

“The project is one of the most complex and difficult ever attempted in Scotland, and the installation of 250 miles of fibre optic under the sea in 20 crossings – 9 of which start or finish (or both) in Argyll & Bute – was a massive task to plan and undertake. Its successful completion brings the day closer when the majority of people in Argyll & Bute will be able to access superfast broadband, which is of huge importance to business and to everyday domestic life.

“These services will also allow the mobile phone companies to provide something more than the basic and often inadequate service they presently give to local bill payers, and I hope they will bring forward their plans on a firm timetable, with no further delay.

“The superfast delivery programme will not reach every household though more than 90% are likely to be covered with the first provision coming on stream in a few areas in early 2015 and the rest being rolled out over the next 24 months or so. However the Scottish Government is funding Community Broadband Scotland to fill the gaps, and I look forward to getting regular accounts of progress on feasibility studies for some of those areas, including parts of Mull.

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