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Digital Connectivity

On this page you can find out more information about digital connectivity, including broadband and mobile coverage, ongoing projects in the Orkney, and how we can assist your home or business. This includes:

  • Universal Service Obligation
  • Reach 100% - Superfast Broadband for all
  • Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (SBVS)
  • UK Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme
  • The Community Fibre Partnerships
  • Mobile coverage
  • Contact us

We are currently working with and supporting several national schemes to ensure that everyone in Orkney has access to the broadband infrastructure they need. If you want to check your current internet speeds you can use an internet speed checker, such as the broadband speed test provided by Which.

Universal Service Obligation

In 2020 the UK Government announced a Universal Service Obligation (USO) for households and businesses that have a download connection speed of lower than 10 megabits per second (Mbps). If this applies to your property BT must deliver a solution up to a total cost of £3,400. Possible solutions include a traditional fixed link, or 4G mobile connectivity. 

If the cost of providing a faster connection exceeds £3,400 the household or business may have to meet the excess. However, there are other options that may be able to help you cover part of the additional costs. 

Find out more about your right to request a decent broadband service

Reaching 100% - superfast broadband for all

An internet speed of 30Mbps or above is considered to be 'superfast broadband'. We are working with the Scottish Government to deliver the Reaching 100% (R100) programme, providing a 30Mbps connection to every premise in Scotland. 

The R100 programme will see full-fibre infrastructure deployed across Orkney, reaching 2,812 properties between 2022 and 2026. You can check if your postcode is included within the R100 plan, or you can contact us at

Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (SBVS)

There will still be a number of properties that will not be connected to full-fibre broadband for a variety of reasons. For these premises, the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme offers vouchers of up to £5,000 to help premises access superfast broadband. You can check if your property is eligible for a voucher on the R100 website.

These vouchers can be used to subsidise the installation of a superfast broadband solution, through an alternative network solution. This could be mobile broadband, fixed wireless broadband or satellite broadband. The vouchers can also be used to part fund full-fibre infrastructure installation. 

Vouchers from the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme can be combined with those of neighbouring properties, to allow for higher value subsidy, which can allow for community solutions. To explore this further, contact us by email at:

UK Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS) is part of Project Gigabit, focused on helping specific people and communities upgrade their broadband connection.  It mainly operates in areas where there is no coverage of a Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) by a Project Gigabit procurement or contract.

Eligible homes and businesses can apply for up to £4,500 to cover the costs of a gigabit-capable connection.

At the moment vouchers from the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme can be used in conjunction with GBVS vouchers. Having said that, there is a pause on new applications for GBVS vouchers in Scotland.

You can find out more about the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme here: Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme information - GOV.UK (

The Community Fibre Partnerships

If an upgrade isn't planned then Openreach can work with the community to build a customised solution to bring fibre broadband to the community. They will provide some of the costs, with the community providing the rest. This scheme can also be used to upgrade to faster speeds in a community that already has fibre broadband. We are here to support and signpost communities to available grants and assistance.  Please contact us by email:

The Openreach website has more information on how to register your interest in ultrafast fibre broadband

Mobile coverage

Due to Orkney’s remote location there are some areas that don't get reliable access to 4G mobile reception. We are working with the Scottish and UK governments to resolve this in several ways. Through the Scotland 4G Infill programme 4G improvements have been built in Burray, Deerness, Stronsay and Hoy. 

We are also working with the Shared Rural Network, and the 'Big 4' UK mobile networks (EE, O2, Three and Vodaphone), to push for further coverage of gaps in Orkney. You can check mobile operator coverage in your area on the Ofcom website.

Contact us

We have compiled a list of FAQs so please check this first to see if your query has already been answered. If you need any further assistance you can contact us by:

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