Sturgeon praise for Moray ‘superfast’ communities – but some still wait

Scotland’s First Minister in waiting, Nicola Sturgeon, has been highlighting Moray communities that are already reaping the benefit of Superfast Broadand.

In a speech delivered in Inverness on Monday evening, Ms Sturgeon pointed to communities such as Cullen and Aberlour that will “benefit greatly” from new business opportunities being delivered by the £410million project.

Around 30,000 homes and businesses throughout the north east are already switched on to digital broadband speeds of up to 80Mpbs.

Before the project is completed that is expected to rise to 150,000 who will be hooked in under the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband BT and Highlands and Islands Enterprise partnership.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The roll-out of superfast broadband will allow more households to connect to fibre optic services for the first time, as well as giving businesses the opportunity to enhance their services.

“As well as the project being available in urban areas that were not previously covered by fibre broadband, such as Dyce in Aberdeen, it is also reaching rural communities such as Cullen and Aberlour in Moray, who will benefit greatly from the business opportunities fibre broadband brings.”

However, there has been some criticism over the pace at which domestic and business customers in areas ‘connected’ to the superfast service are actually able to access it.

One Lossiemouth businessman said: “We waited in keen anticipation as the roll-out drew closer and the Moray exchange was upgraded.

“It has now been in place for several months – but still we can’t connect. I’ve spoken to many people in the town and they just do not understand why a neighbour just over the street can connect to the service – but they are told no, it’s not ready yet.”

A BT spokesman said that the conversion of an exchange was only part of the process and the manner in which homes and business are connected – through street cabinets – also requires to be upgraded.

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