Three of Scotland's main island groups - the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland - are finally to get broadband internet services.
The islands' capitals of Stornoway, Kirkwall and Lerwick will become the first island communities in Scotland to benefit from fixed-line ADSL, following a partnership between BT Scotland and Thus to take the technology across the Minch and Pentland Firth.
Under the terms of the partnership BT Scotland will lease capacity on wireless links to the islands provided by Thus, so that islanders can be connected back to BT's broadband network on the mainland.
With support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the telcos have promised to bring broadband to more than 4,700 businesses and consumers in Stornoway, 4,300 in Kirkwall and 4,200 in Lerwick by spring next year.
But in population terms, the technology will only be within reach of about a third of each island's citizens.
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