Businesses working around Inverness and in the Moray Firth area are to benefit from high speed fibre broadband access which has been funded by public money.
The project is the first part of a nationwide scheme to bring broadband to areas with no clear indication of commercial viability.
For Scotland, the £260 million public sector and BT partnership initiative is seen as vital. Less than 25 per cent of Scottish properties are expected to have access to fibre broadband by 2016 without the scheme.
With access, it is expected that economic activity will be propelled forward; supporting the efforts of individual firms themselves. Many companies have shown their appetite for growth over recent years by refinancing, often with the help of Scottish factoring companies.
The scheme will eventually deliver high speed networks to a number of commercial and residential properties in Scotland.
Small and medium-sized firms will be prioritised with the campaign, with the director of BT Scotland, Brendan Dick, saying:
“It is crucial if local businesses are to continue to thrive in a competitive environment.”
The director of digital for the Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Stuart Robertson, said:
“This first roll-out will be available to customers who are connected to a number of street cabinets within the eight exchange areas.
“Homes and businesses will be able to check availability over the coming weeks.”
Along with the £106 million investment from BT, a further £158 million will be provided by the European Regional Development Fund, the Scottish Government, Broadband Delivery UK and HIE.