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Openreach Bring FTTP Broadband to Remote Hebridean Isle of Jura

Monday, Nov 27th, 2023 (3:34 pm) - Score 2,640

The first 100 homes and businesses on the remote rural Hebridean isle of Jura in Scotland can now access Openreach’s new gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network. The development was partly funded by gigabit broadband vouchers from the UK and Scottish governments, which offer subsidies worth up to £5,000 per property.

The island, which sits directly adjacent to and northeast of Islay, was in fact previously connected via a high-speed subsea fibre optic cable as part of the original Digital Scotland (DSSB) Superfast Broadband project. But until recently residents on Jura could only access a mix of slow ADSL or hybrid fibre FTTC (VDSL2) based broadband connections.

The arrival of full fibre connectivity to individual homes and business in such a remote location is thus a significant upgrade and one that brings gigabit speeds (1000Mbps) to several communities. So far 100 premises have been covered, but more will be able to upgrade before Christmas, as engineers continue work on the ground. Ultimately, around 200 premises will benefit, once the build is completed.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach Partnership Director for Scotland, said:

“Islanders have worked hand in hand with us to make this upgrade a success, so it’s great that around half the population can now upgrade to full fibre broadband. They need to place their order with their chosen service provider and we’ll take care of the rest. Once their ultrafast broadband installation has gone live, voucher holders will be contacted by the UK Government and asked to confirm their service is active.

Ultrafast, ultra-reliable broadband will provide numerous benefits. Transformative connectivity helps make communities sustainable – people can stay local and take full advantage of online opportunities.”

Richard Lochhead, Scottish Government Innovation Minister, said:

“The Scottish Government is investing in connectivity which is transforming how people on Jura work, socialise and visit, while also creating new business opportunities. The R100 Scottish broadband voucher scheme is in place to support the installation of superfast connections, including in this case full fibre broadband, with vouchers available worth up to £5,000 per household. This helps ensure nobody is left behind as we build a stronger economy.”

The UK Government’s Minister for Digital Infrastructure, Sir John Whittingdale, added that he was similarly “delighted to see that the community on the remote Hebridean isle of Jura is also benefitting [from the voucher scheme] and will now be able to access first-class broadband, fit for the future“. Whittingdale noted that the UK is still “on track to bring lightning-fast broadband to every corner of the UK by 2030.”

Separately, the Scottish Government recently revealed that their £600m Reaching 100% (R100) project with Openreach (BT) has so far extended FTTP to an additional 42,000 premises (up from 24,194 in late May 2023) – the goal is to grow this to around 114,000 extra premises by March 2028. Over 3,500 premises have also used the R100 Broadband Voucher Scheme to get the same connectivity installed.

Ofcom recently predicted (here) that Scotland’s full fibre coverage would reach around 78-83% by May 2026, while gigabit-capable broadband (FTTP and Hybrid Fibre Coax / cable) would deliver 83-85% by that same date.

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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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18 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Anthony says:

    I have always wanted to go there as they make one of my favourite whiskeys. But when you look at it on Google Maps it seems desolate other than the whisky factory.

    1. Avatar photo yeehaa says:

      There is a lot of natural beauty on the isle of Jura. The whisky distillery is a nice added bonus. However the official bottlings are full of E150 caramel colourant and chill filtered and watered down to 40% ABV. If you buy an independent bottling of Jura from the likes of Cadenhead’s, Signatory Vintage, Thompson Bros etc. you wouldn’t believe the different in quality.

      Back on topic, great news for the residents of Jura.

    2. Avatar photo Oggy says:

      Jura is in the wrong country for it to be a whiskey.

    3. Avatar photo Oldtimeuser says:

      Aa Oggy says, from Jura, Scotland it’s whisky, pop over to Ireland and it’s whiskey.

      Then there’s the difference between a dram and a shot, although some think they are the same.

      Having a half empty bottle of a nice ten year old malt whisky at home, it’s always a double for me at the end of a long day to relax!

  2. Avatar photo Nick Roberts says:

    Here we go again . .

    The fluence of Bonny Prince Golden Nectar


    If it guarentees the supply to my drinks cabinet is uninterrupted, . . . I’m all for it.

    Meanwhile, I wonder what song I have to sing in Engerland, Engerland, Engerland (NW London) in order to get the fibre laid-in the 300 yards from the cabinet at the top of my road to my QTH, given that’s its specified as “On demand”, meaning that the first to request pays the full cost of the run.

    I’m thinking “Hmmm, invite some highlanders down for Hogmanay, and leave a few of the the copper conduit manhole covers open ?”

  3. Avatar photo Nick Roberts says:

    21st century technology . . . . 18th century delivery

    1. Avatar photo Matthew says:

      Funny isn’t it promise for full firber for the the entire country takes far to much time in 2023 don’t finish befor moveing on either

  4. Avatar photo Bourbon Drinker says:

    A bit of good P.R. to be had and OpenReach are there like a shot never mind the expense. 100 metres of trenching in a village to connect to the existing FTTP network and no chance, no P.R. to be had from that.

    1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      Also, UK and Scottish governments, which offer subsidies worth up to £5,000 per property, even for publicity I doubt BT would have done it without getting subsidies, money talks and it is normally BT that gets it.

    2. Avatar photo Fastman says:

      on a scale of 1 -10 of hard Jura was about 11.5 from my memory on this

      community would certainly have had to work together to make this happen –

  5. Avatar photo Matthew says:

    Yet still waiting for them to move across the road to me apparently that’s going to take till 2026 lazy fiks

    1. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      That’s probably because the government aren’t throwing millions at your build. They all seem to be concentrating on places with public subsidy right now.

  6. Avatar photo GG says:

    £5000 of taxpayers money per property?
    Utterly obscene when there’s still whole streets unconnected to fibre that could be connected for that amount.

    1. Avatar photo Fastman says:

      what speed does this street have your complaining about — suggest it way better that what jura had by a country mile — where are these street complaining about then

    2. Avatar photo Fastman says:

      what speed does this street have your complaining about — suggest it way better that what jura had by a country mile — where are these street complaining about then

    3. Avatar photo Martin says:

      The phrase used is “up to”. Doing business on those islands costs a lot, with OR having to fly/ship teams in an out. If you don’t have a policy to update the infrastructure, then those islands just get left behind. I would shudder to think what internet speeds existed on Jura before.

  7. Avatar photo anon says:

    how did they dig that trench without it filling with water.

  8. Avatar photo Rik Aindow says:

    Maybe the KLF could have gifted Jura that million instead of burning it..

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