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Funding awarded for broadband improvements

Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre Development Trust has been awarded a total of £9,500 to improve broadband access on the islands.

The sum comes from the LEADER Broadband Challenge Fund, which awarded around £800,000 to five 'action groups' in rural Scotland, yesterday, Friday. Part of the Scotland Rural Development Programme, the Broadband Challenge Fund was announced in July this year, "to improve the coverage and the speed of broadband in rural areas".

An assessment panel judged bids from a total of thirteen action groups, eventually allocating funding to those in the Borders, Forth Valley and Lomand, Outer Hebrides, and South Lanarkshire, as well as to the three-island group of Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre.

With broadband connections on the three islands often achieving slow speeds, as well as suffering from an lack of consistancy in availability, the money will be put to good use, with free Wi-Fi on a "high speed broadband connection" promised.

The Development Trust aims to appoint one part-time trainer, as part of this project - one which it hopes will enable small local businesses "to improve their marketing and online trade", especially those in the tourism industry, as the Trust also seeks to develop ways of increasing the number of visitors to the three islands.

23:08 18/12/2010