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Global Marine Awarded 16-Cable R100 Project by BT

Monday 15th March 2021

Global Marine has been awarded the desktop study, survey and cable installation scope as the turnkey contractor for BT’s R100 North contract in Northern and Western Isles off Scotland.

The Scottish Government-funded Reaching 100% Programme (R100) aspires to extend superfast broadband capabilities at speeds of at least 30Mbps to every premises in Scotland.

The festoon system in Northern and Western Scotland comprises 16 different cable routes, and will provide better broadband connections for the following communities: Colonsay, Iona and Lismore in Argyll and Bute; Eigg in the Highlands; Eday, Flotta, Hoy, Rousay, Sanday, Shapinsay and Stronsay in Orkney; Fair Isle, Unst, Whalsay and Yell in Shetland.

Desk Top Study work and initial project permitting has been completed by sister company OceanIQ®, also part of the Global Marine Group. Survey vessels will be mobilised onto the project, including the completion of specific UXO hazard assessments following the guidance of the risk assessment and mitigations strategies, from Spring 2021. From Spring 2022, Global Marine will be utilising cable installation vessel Normand Clipper to lay the cable.

Bruce Neilson-Watts, Managing Director of Global Marine said: “This is an exciting project for us that will have a hugely positive impact on the residents of the 15 different islands included in the scope of the work. Quicker and more reliable connectivity is extremely valuable, never more so than right now with the world operating much more remotely than it ever has done.”

Mr Neilson-Watts continued: “Our in-house knowledge and track record for the planning and installation of systems such as this means we have the flexibility and agility to structure the work around the current economic climate as effectively as possible.”

Robert Thorburn, partnership director at Openreach, which is delivering the R100 contracts on behalf of BT, said: “Following the excellent progress of our live Scotland-Northern Ireland cable project with Global Marine, we’re looking forward to working with them once again in the coming months.

“The R100 programme will deliver a tangible improvement to so many individuals and businesses across Scotland’s network of islands and the subsea programme will be the first, vital step in bringing reliable, fast broadband to some of the most remote communities in the UK.”