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Inverness Promised Step Change in Broadband and Mobile Connectivity

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016 (11:03 am) - Score 251
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The UK and Scottish Governments have today joined with the Highland Council to sign a new £315m City Region Deal for Inverness and its surrounding areas, which among other things has promised to create the “best digitally connected rural region in Europe.”

At this stage the details remain wafer thin and there’s only some very general talk of delivering a “step change in digital connectivity, digital healthcare, skills, business development and infrastructure.” The announcement then says, “Effective broadband and mobile coverage is essential so that businesses can fully exploit commercial opportunities and international markets.”

The coverage of superfast fixed line broadband and mobile broadband services in Inverness have been improving quite a bit over the past few years, although as the UK’s most northerly city there’s still a lot of room for improvement and hopefully the new deal will help to deliver that.

Alex Paterson, CEO of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said:

“The City-Region deal is very welcome news, and we’ll be working with our partners to ensure that the benefits which will arise from this investment reach the whole of the Highlands.

As the region’s development agency, we’re committed to making the Highlands a highly successful and competitive place where more and more people want to live, work study and invest.

We’re already engaged in many successful projects to achieve that goal, whether that’s making superfast broadband accessible in all parts of the region, investing in new infrastructure, or supporting the growth of businesses, communities and key economic sectors on the mainland and the islands.

This important deal will help HIE and our partners accelerate many of our most ambitious plans to build a stronger future.”

Overall some £53m of public investment is coming from the UK government, with £135m from the Scottish government and £127m from the Highland Council / partners. However it’s hoped that the deal could eventually be worth as much as £1 billion over its lifetime. Now we just need some solid details.

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