Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil welcomes the move by BT to make ‘adequate and affordable’ broadband available to more island premises and says such provision has ‘never been more important’ as communities cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Currently more than 15 per cent of premises in Na h-Eileanan an Iar do not have access to a fixed line broadband connection of at least 10Mbps but there is now a legal right for those eligible to request the service under the new Universal Service Obligation (USO).

In areas where there is 4G access but no broadband, customers can apply to BT for a home hub.

Mr MacNeil said: “This is a very welcome step forward in providing an adequate and affordable broadband connection for island premises.

“I would encourage householders to contact BT for further details on their eligibility.

“The value of access to online services has never been highlighted more strongly than in our current Covid-19 situation. It has never been more important as communities, businesses, churches, schools and more are all relying on online services to communicate and to continue providing vital support and order services.”

BT will be writing to all those premises in Na h-Eileanan an Iar who Ofcom’s preliminary analysis has shown may be eligible. 

Those who think they are eligible should contact BT on 0800 783 0223. BT will then carry out some checks to confirm if analysis is correct, and that they are eligible for an upgraded broadband connection at no cost to them.