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Three is offering business and households in remote parts of Scotland the opportunity to access free mobile broadband for a year.

The service provider is giving away 20 free dongles to people living and working in Melvich, Durness and Invergordon in the Highlands & Islands region.

A community hall, hotel and two cafes will be among the sites to receive broadband connections, after areas of need were identified by Three's Rural Broadband Working Group.

Around four million megabytes of mobile broadband data will be made available, helping local people get online and make the most of the internet.

Dave Dyson, Chief Executive of Three, said: "With the Highlands having some of the most remote areas in Europe, these communities often don't have access to the benefits of high-speed broadband.

"We have built a network specifically for the internet and are passionate about using this to connect people wherever they are," he stated.

Mr Dyson claimed that Three is looking to boost broadband coverage, whether this is in the Scottish Highlands or towns and cities around the UK.

Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the numerous educational, economic and social benefits brought about by the high-speed internet are "often slower to come to rural areas such as the Highlands".

As such, she said initiatives such as this are "crucial" if people are to take advantage of digital services.

"This is all part of a longer-term commitment to ensuring Scotland enjoys a world-class digital infrastructure across the entire country by 2020," Ms Sturgeon claimed.

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