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BT Sign £27m Subsea Fibre Optic Contract for Scotlands Highlands and Islands

Monday, Dec 23rd, 2013 (12:56 pm) - Score 2,482

BT has signed a £26.9 million deal with three companies – including Global Marine Systems, Orange Marine and A-2-Sea Solutions – to help build 20 new fibre optic submarine cables around the Highlands and Islands region, which will be used to deliver on the Scottish Government’s £264m Digital Scotland project.

The new cables (all 400 kilometres of them), which are expected to be deployed between May and October 2014, will act as a fibre optic backbone to help connect remote areas like Western Scotland’s Kintyre Peninsula, the Isle of Lewis (Stornoway) in the Outer Hebrides and the northern Orkney Islands.

Brendan Dick, Director of BT Scotland, said (allmediascotland):

Quite simply, it’s the biggest subsea engineering project BT has undertaken in UK territorial waters and is the first ever with so many seabed crossings. The size of the task presents a massive challenge, not only because of the number of cables involved but also the fact that the work has to be completed within a single, six-month weather window. The pressure is on but we’re confident that in just over a year’s time, the Highlands and Islands will be set to benefit from its own network of underwater, fibre optic cables.”

The longest single cable run will reach almost 79km between Ullapool and Stornoway.

The 20 New Subsea Cable Routes
Largs – Millport
Kilchattan Bay- Millport
Rothesay – Toward
Kilfinan – Lochgilphead
Campbeltown – Shiskine
Corrie – West Kilbride
Jura – Port Askaig
Glenbarr – Port Ellen
Jura – Ormsary
Kilchoan – Tobermory
Craignure – Oban
Ardgour – Onich
Stornoway – Ullapool
Lochmaddy – Leverburgh
Carnan – Dunvegan
Ardvasar – Mallaig
Dervaig – Scarinish
Lochboisdale – Eriskay
Eriskay – North Bay
Evie – Westray

The Digital Scotland project ultimately aims to ensure that 85% of Scottish homes and businesses can access BT’s “high-speed fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network by the end of 2015 and rising to around 95% by the end of 2017, although the Highland and Islands region alone anticipates that it will only reach 84% by 2016.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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