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Consumers and businesses in the Shetland Islands will be able to look forward to enhanced broadband coverage courtesy of a European funding boost.

The Shetland News reports how £367,500 has been made available to the islands from the European Regional Development Fund, in order to establish a link to the fibre optic broadband cable now running between Scotland and the Faroe Islands.

In total, the Shetland Fibre Optic Network project is likely to cost upwards of £1 million, but the grant goes some way towards footing the bill.

Scottish Finance Minister John Swinney told the news provider that in order to maintain the fragile economic recovery that is underway, the government has ensured that European Structural Fund allocations are directed towards projects that can help build sustainable economic growth.

He commented: "This is particularly good news for residents and businesses in Shetland, where the fibre-optic cable will greatly enhance broadband connections.

"This award builds on the Scottish Government's efforts to improve broadband services across Scotland and to realise its undoubted social and economic benefits."

Last month, Head of Economic Development Neil Grant told the Shetland Times that 20 or 30 miles of cable from Maywick to Lerwick are needed to bring fibre-optic broadband to the islands.

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