Orkney Islands: The case for digital infrastructure investment

The Orkney Islands are currently ranked as one of the UK’s most poorly served broadband areas, especially in terms of gigabit-capable broadband. Less than 2% of Orkney premises are able to access gigabit rates, and only around 66% of premises are able to access superfast (30Mbps) broadband. Around 20% of premises only have access to speeds of 10Mbps or less.

Plum carried out a study for Orkney Islands Council to support the development of a suitable investment case for delivering gigabit-capable broadband connectivity to 100% of Orkney Islands’ population. Plum’s analysis is based on a quantitative assessment of the economic viability of deploying a mixture of fibre deployment and fixed wireless access to enable such connectivity. The model takes into account the needs of the territory’s public sectors, the UK’s government subsidy programmes (for both public and private users), planned deployment of fibre by the incumbent, and existing infrastructure that could support the proposed local access solutions.