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Scots stump up £3.5m for Highland broadband

Can you connect the unconnected?

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The Scottish Executive is to meet with companies interested in providing connectivity to the last remaining spots of the Highlands, and has £3.5m burning a hole in its sporran to pay for it.

Every community in Scotland now has ADSL available, and every exchange is ADSL-enabled, but problems including distance from the exchange and aluminium on the line still prevent some people getting connected.

The exact number isn't known. The executive has a list of around 750 people who have complained, but there could be many more.

The executive would like to speak with companies who might be able to provide connectivity to small clumps of unconnected users, and is holding an event in Glasgow on 8 May to try and find a sensible solution. This will be followed up by a consultation with the unconnected themselves later in May.

Eddie Murphy, who is coordinating the event, said all approaches will be considered: "We are quite definitely not pre-judging which technology to use."

Companies interested in going along to the event should email Murphy. Individuals living in the Highlands, sans broadband, can try contacting the executive, though this week might be a good time to ask your elected representatives their opinion on the matter. ®

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