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The introduction of super-fast Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) broadband across the Highlands will cost around £81 million, a new report has revealed.

According to the publication from the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), it would also cost up to £480 million to provide fibre-optic broadband directly to homes and businesses in the region.

In addition, the study suggests that any plans to provide such services should be staged, as the body's priorities are to help broadband users achieve improved speeds in line with the government's Digital Britain plans.

Discussing the proposals, Alex Paterson, director of regional competitiveness for the HIE, said the introduction of next-generation services in the area could be "key" to its ambitions.

"Telecoms connectivity is a cornerstone of the digital economy, and provides opportunities to accelerate innovation and raise productivity," he added.

The HIE is the Scottish government's development agency for the Highlands and is responsible for building sustainable economic growth in the area.

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