Statkraft, Europe’s largest renewable power generator, have commissioned FarrPoint to produce a broadband connectivity report for communities around the popular tourism destination of Loch Ness.
The full report will present a number of options for improving broadband in communities surrounding the site of the proposed (this will open in a new window)Loch Liath wind farm. The report will also take account of parallel improvements being supported by the Scottish Government. Once complete, the report will be made available in full to local community councils and groups to provide a basis for possible improvements, which could be taken forward independently.
Statkraft has innovated in commissioning broadband studies for each of their new projects in Scotland. This report is expected to prove informative and useful for making key decisions for the communities around Loch Liath.
Further superfast broadband studies are planned for other Statkraft projects in the Highlands. Each will be tailored to the particular conditions within their respective communities, so that they are of maximum use.
Heather Lafferty, Statkraft’s Senior Project Manager for Loch Liath wind farm said:
“We have a good neighbour ethos at Statkraft, and always try to bring extra value to local communities. Local people often ask if we can help with broadband and so I’m really pleased that we have been able to commission this study, which will provide much-needed broadband insights for community stakeholders and leaders to take forward.”
Dr Andrew Muir, CEO at FarrPoint, said:
“As an independent consultancy, we provide advice on connectivity projects across the UK and internationally, from dense urban settings through to the most remote communities. In all cases, advanced connectivity can enable a host of benefits to users and this is just as important to support more remote locations.
“This is a great opportunity to provide a clear snapshot of the opportunities for residents and businesses in this Highland community. In the case of this area, a large number of premises which are currently getting poor speeds will be due to get covered by the Scottish Government’s R100 programme in the next 3 years, but not all of them. So we will factor in this programme and other related developments to deliver an overall plan to address all premises in the area.”
Willie Cameron, a leading tourism expert and Business Development Director with Cobbs Group, one of the largest employers in the area, has welcomed the commission by Statkraft. He said:
“Superfast broadband is a vital utility and is important to businesses and residents in the area, but also to the many visitors we get here. This is an excellent commitment from Statkraft as it will provide the community with the latest information, particular to our own community needs. The report will be a marker for superfast broadband decisions over the next few years and an exemplar for valuable community engagement.”
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