UK fixed line incumbent BT has selected three companies to roll out subsea cabling for the Highlands and Islands, according to Cable.co.uk. Essex-based Global Marine Systems will reportedly take responsibility for cable supply and marine route surveyancing, while French firm Orange Marine will lay around 400km of undersea cable. Rounding out the companies that will take part in the project, Hampshire’s A-2-Sea Solutions is understood to have been chosen to connect up the cables to BT’s on-land broadband network. With the contracts said to be worth a combined GBP26.9 million (USD43.9 million), the contracts form part of a GBP146 million scheme launched in March this year by Highlands and Islands Enterprise which aims to deliver the benefits of high speed connectivity to communities across the region. Measuring almost 79km in length, the longest cable will run between Ullapool and Stornoway, while the Western Isles will be connected via a second link stretching for approximately 60km from Carnan on South Uist to Dunvegan on Skye. Commenting on the development, Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, said: "Quite simply, it’s the biggest subsea engineering project BT has undertaken in UK territorial waters and is the first ever with so many seabed crossings.’
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