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Council / Fibre broadband edges closer for Yell and Unst

IT IS hoped that work on bringing high-speed fibre broadband to Yell and Unst could get underway by the middle of October.

Shetland Islands Council’s development director Neil Grant said tenders for the project should be in by the end of September.

The council secured nearly £2 million from the UK Government earlier this year to extend its existing high-speed fibre network to Yell and Unst.

This will connect public sector sector buildings like schools, health centres and care centres to the network, improving speeds in the North Isles.

It would also lay the groundwork for homes and businesses to connect to the network in the future.

The North Isles have historically suffered poor internet connectivity and low speeds.

Grant said: “We should have the tenders in by the end of September and hopefully we’re able to make a decision on the tender submissions we get.

“The plan at the moment, if everything works to plan, is that we’ll be commencing the actual work in the middle of October.”

The scheme is “aligned” with the Scottish Government’s R100 scheme, which aims to bring super fast broadband to all in Scotland in 2021.

“Once we’ve got all the public buildings connected, the infrastructure is then able to be used for other connections,” Grant added.

“Once the fibre network has been established, housing and other private sector connections can be made onto that. “

The project, which is still going through the planning process, will extend the council’s existing network from Graven to Mossbank and Toft and onwards to Yell and Unst, providing gigabit capable fibre optic connections.

It is hoped that the project will allow for a technical solution to improve the council’s broadband links to Fetlar in the near future.