Island set to stream… with Openreach ultrafast broadband

Scott Douglas on Jura 01

The first 100 homes and businesses on the Hebridean isle of Jura can now order some of the fastest, more reliable broadband in the UK, made possible by joint voucher funding from the UK and Scottish governments.

Openreach’s new full fibre network will allow local people to connect multiple devices at gigabit-capable speeds and support businesses for decades to come.

More properties will be able to upgrade before Christmas, as engineers continue work on the ground on the island’s full fibre network. Around 200 will benefit in total.

Islanders used the UK Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme1 and the Scottish Government’s Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme, alongside standard funding from Openreach, to help fund the island’s digital transformation.

Residents will be able to access a host of online services and entertainment, with seamless streaming and smooth online gaming. The technology also supports day-to-day, business critical tasks like video calls, banking, and online trade and contact with customers.

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,” he added. “Transformative connectivity helps make communities sustainable – people can stay local and take full advantage of online opportunities.”

UK Government Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure, Sir John Whittingdale, said: “The UK Government is on track to bring lightning-fast broadband to every corner of the UK by 2030.

“Through our Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, we've already delivered high speed connectivity to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across Scotland. I’m delighted to see that the community on the remote Hebridean isle of Jura is also benefitting and will now be able to access first-class broadband, fit for the future.”

Scottish Government Innovation Minister Richard Lochhead 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.

“Through the Scottish 4G Infill programme, we have provided 4G coverage to the vast majority of businesses and residents – despite the most challenging conditions.

“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.”

Full fibre broadband provides more reliable, resilient and future-proof connectivity; with fewer faults; more predictable, consistent speeds and enough capacity to easily meet growing data demands.

Residents can enjoy a host of online services and entertainment, with seamless streaming and smooth online gaming. The technology also supports day-to-day, business critical tasks like video calls, banking and online customer interactions.

The rollout of ultrafast full fibre on Jura builds on earlier investment in two new 4G masts at Craighouse and Ardlussa, which saw fibre links installed on the island by Openreach as part of the Scottish Government’s S4GI programme.

Subsea cables between Ormsary in Argyll and Bute, Jura and Islay were laid as part of the earlier Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband subsea programme, led by Highlands & Islands Enterprise and also delivered by Openreach.

Local people can visit openreach.co.uk/ultrafastfullfibre to register for updates and check their postcode to see if and when services are available from their chosen provider, and find out more about the benefits of an upgrade.

Notes to editors 

1The UK Voucher Scheme forms part of Project Gigabit, the UK government's £5 billion programme enabling hard-to-reach communities to access lightning-fast gigabit-capable broadband.

Build information included in this news release reflects our plans at the time of publication. Building a new broadband network across the UK is a huge and complex national engineering programme, so please be aware some changes may occur where we encounter unforeseen obstacles.

The Scottish Government’s £28.75 million Scottish 4G Infill (S4GI) programme has delivered 4G to the Isle of Jura for the first time via two new 4G masts. Full fibre connections to the mobile phone masts have provided an essential link in the roll out of broadband to premises across Jura, part-funded by the R100 Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme.