By Herald Scotland

BT has awarded three firms a £26.9 million contract for an ambitious subsea cabling project which will help deliver fast, fibre broadband to the Highlands and Islands.

Specialist vessels will lay 20 fibre optic submarine cables in a precise operation, providing a fibre broadband backbone which will eventually link communities from Kintyre to Orkney

The massive engineering effort is part of the £146 million investment project launched with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to bring high-speed fibre broadband to communities across the north of Scotland.

Chelmsford-based Global Marine Systems will conduct detailed marine route surveys and supply the cables; Orange Marine, which is based in France but works globally, has been contracted to lay around 400 kilometres of subsea cables, while Hampshire-based A-2-Sea Solutions has been chosen to work onshore connecting the cables to BT's terrestrial network.

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