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Plans to operate a super-fast broadband pilot on the Scottish island of Fetlar have been boosted by the provision of EU funding.

The European LEADER fund has granted first stage approval for £50,000 to the project, half the total required to run a new 25Mb broadband trial, reports the Shetland News.

Shetland Telecom wishes to improve access to broadband services on Fetlar in order to prevent further depopulation – just 70 people inhabit the island at present.

Marvin Smith, Telecoms Project Manager at Shetland Islands Council (SIC), commented: "Getting next-generation broadband into Fetlar will be technically challenging, so we see it as an ideal place to test the technology.

"The experience gained can be used to evaluate the potential for similar services in other areas."

Back in September, it was announced that European Regional Development Fund had provided a £367,000 grant to SIC in order to hook the Shetland Islands up to a fibre-optic broadband cable running between Scotland and the Faroe Islands.

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