Next Generation Broadband for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland
9th June 2011
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is taking the first steps towards implementing a transformational project which will deliver access to superfast broadband for homes and businesses across the Highlands and Islands over the next few years.
The agency, working in partnership on the project with the UK Government Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), the Scottish Government and local authorities, has launched a procurement process to appoint a suitably experienced partner to co-invest in the provision of Next Generation Broadband (NGB) services throughout the region.
In October 2010, HIE successfully bid to be one of the initial four rural areas in the UK to receive a funding package from BDUK. The investment is targeted at exploring ways to bring the faster speeds currently being enjoyed primarily in some city locations to more rural areas.
Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HIE, said: "Good communication links are a cornerstone in growing attractive, sustainable communities in remote and rural areas. Having faster, reliable broadband links across the world brings with it a whole range of opportunities, both in delivering the services our communities need every day and in the ways we as a region can do business."
The procurement will follow the European-wide OJEU Competitive Dialogue process and HIE expects to sign contracts by July 2012.
The multi-million pound project, which will be delivered in phases, will roll out next generation access to communities and businesses across the Highlands and Islands. Details of the plan will be determined through the procurement process, with confirmation expected shortly after the contract is awarded.
Mr Paterson commented: "Understandably, everyone wants to know if faster broadband capability will reach them. Our ultimate aim is for all our communities to benefit, throughout all parts of the Highlands and Islands. At this first stage we are committed to seeing a fair spread across the region. The winning tender will need to demonstrate the best options for value and reach."
The procurement is part of a wider programme of activity which HIE is leading to maximise the benefits of improved digital connectivity - keeping our region globally accessible and our businesses highly competitive. The desired end results will be sustainable economic growth, improved delivery of public services and stronger communities.
A new £16 million initiative is to be launched in the Highlands to boost innovation. The Northern Innovation Hub (NIH) will focus on four key industry sectors.
A new residential music studio in the Outer Hebrides is set to capitalise on its scenic location and high-end technology to attract both UK and international recording artists. Black Bay Studio has opened for business on the island of Great Bernera just off the west coast of the Isle of Lewis.
It has never been more important for businesses in the Highlands and Islands to target global markets, writes Martin Johnson, HIE's head of international trade and investment. At the same time global markets have never been more accessible to the region, so we are in a good place.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed a new director of business and sector development. Originally from County Durham, David Oxley joined the organisation in 2004 as head of operations in Lochaber before moving to Forres with his wife and son in 2011 to take up the role of area manager in Moray.
The development of Inverness Campus moves another step forward with tenders being invited to build a second life science building. Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is leading on the development of the campus.
Aerospace and defence sector opportunities in the region highlighted at event Businesses in the Highlands and Islands are being invited to a free workshop to find out how the region can benefit from opportunities in the aerospace, defence, security and space industries. It will be held in at An Lòchran, Inverness Campus on Tuesday 26 September 2017 The event is organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and ADS Scotland which is the Scottish branch of the aerospace, defence, security and space industry trade organisation, ADS.
Over 250 community leaders from across Scotland will meet in Aviemore today and tomorrow (21-22 September) at a national conference to look at the impact and future role of community-led development on Scotland's social and economic fortunes. The event, hosted by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and supported by the Scottish Government, brings together community groups, academia and experts to discuss the vital contribution communities make to Scotland and consider how to support their continuing and increasing ambitions.
Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has just announced over £660K of funding for 13 new projects aiming to develop innovative control systems for wave energy converters. This initiative brings together control systems specialists from mature sectors such as aerospace and oil and gas, to work with Scottish technology developers in addressing the challenges of controlling and integrating Wave Energy Converter (WEC) systems and their components.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise is offering its clients across the region support to protect themselves from cyber attacks, by launching the Cyber Strong business project. Co-inciding with Digital Leaders Cyber Resilience Week (11-15 September 2017), the agency is launching a programme to help local businesses and social enterprises achieve national Cyber Essentials accreditation.
Food and drink businesses looking to grow through innovation are encouraged to register for a free workshop which takes place in Inverness on 31 August. The event will focus on the new ‘Make Innovation Happen' service which provides a single access point for all innovation support to the Scottish food and drink industry.
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