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By: MarkJ - 28 September, 2010 (12:07 PM)
shetland mapThe European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union (EU) by correcting imbalances between its regions, has awarded the Shetland Islands Council (SIC) in Scotland £367,500 to help it connect the islands with a fibre optic broadband cable that runs between the Faroe Islands and the Scottish mainland.

The Shetland Fibre Optic Network (SFON) project will, in total, cost over £1 million to complete but could significantly improve broadband connections for island residents. The award is a huge boost for the plan and could finally help to solve the islands historic problems with poor internet connectivity.

The Scottish Finance Minister, John Swinney, told Shetland News:

"In order to maintain the fragile economic recovery that is underway we have ensured that European Structural Fund allocations are directed towards projects that can help build sustainable economic growth.

This is particularly good news for residents and businesses in Shetland, where the fibre optic cable will greatly enhance broadband connections. This award builds on the Scottish Government’s efforts to improve broadband services across Scotland and to realise its undoubted social and economic benefits."

In related news, and moving over 300 miles south to the city of Edinburgh, BT has begun showing off the benefits that its new 40Mbps fibre optic ( FTTC ) broadband services could bring to local homes and businesses.
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