A reliable broadband connection could become "more important than roads" in parts of northern Scotland, according to one local councillor.
Chairman of Scotland's advisory committee of the communications industry watchdog Ofcom, Inverness South's Liberal Democrat Thomas Prag, has highlighted the importance of broadband to remote areas of the country, allowing for communication on a number of levels.
According to the Press and Journal, Mr Prag said: "Actually, in 10 years, things like broadband could well be more important for rural areas than even the roads are, that so much can be delivered that way. "With little things like health issues in remote areas, there are ways now of linking up people via wireless technology in their homes so that they can be monitored."
Mr Prag was speaking at the meeting of a planning committee held to discuss the merits of a broadband roll-out to parts of the Scottish Highlands.
The Scottish government recently received £3.4 million from the European Commission for the development of affordable broadband across the country.