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Connectivity: Digital and Transport

Our aim is to improve Orkney’s connectivity by resolving the issues holding up the delivery of 21st century mobile, broadband and transport networks to all of Orkney’s communities.

Our target outcomes are:

  • Equal or better standards of digital connectivity than elsewhere in the UK, with mobile and broadband services available and affordable to all in Orkney.
  • Integrated, sustainable and affordable transport services which meet the needs of Orkney’s residents, businesses and visitors.

The Chair of this group is Graeme Harrison, HIE.

This page includes a selection of information from the Orkney Community Plan 2021-23, incorporating the Local Outcomes Improvement Plan (LOIP)

Our plans for Connectivity

There is already considerable work taking place to address Connectivity, which is being undertaken by various groups and partner agencies. Listed here are the main areas of activity through which the Connectivity Delivery Group will contribute.

  • Digital connectivity
    • Work with Scottish Government to accelerate the roll out of the R100 programme, which commits to provide access to superfast broadband of 30 Megabits per second to every home and business in Scotland.
    • Lobby for changes to regulations to enable sustainable broadband and mobile networks using alternative technologies.
    • Support communities and residents with information and advice on the Scottish Government broadband voucher scheme.
  • Transport connectivity
    • Continue to engage with Scottish Government to secure either (i) guaranteed and permanent full funding for the inter-island ferry service or (ii) a Transfer of Responsibility for Orkney’s lifeline inter island ferry services at no net detriment to the Council (the current service provider).
    • Following completion of the Outline Business Case currently in preparation, engage with Scottish Government on the sourcing and funding of an accessible and 'green' replacement ferry fleet for Orkney’s inter island ferry services.
    • Consider a third aircraft for Orkney’s Inter Island Air Services to improve island connectivity.
    • Improve connectivity by integrating air, ferry and bus travel where possible (a budget uplift would be required to enhance services beyond current levels).

Measuring progress in Connectivity

The indicators below have been selected to show how well we are progressing towards the outcomes we want for Connectivity in Orkney. They do not evaluate directly the actions of any particular partner or group, but they indicate whether collective local and national action is moving us in the right direction.
 

% Orkney premises unable to access 10Mbits/s Broadband
(Source: Ofcom Connected Nations 2020)
2020-21 Baseline 2021-22 Milestone 2022-23 Target
20.70% 10% 0%

 

% Orkney premises unable to access 30Mbits/s Broadband
(Source: Ofcom Connected Nations 2020)
2020-21 Baseline 2021-22 Milestone 2022-23 Target Five-year target 2026-27
31.50% 20% 10% 0%

 

% Orkney residents whose internet connection at home is fast enough to do what they want online
(Source: National Islands Plan Survey Report 2020 and online results explorer tool)
  2020-21 Baseline 2022-23 Target Five-year target 2026-27
Orkney Mainland 70% Increase 100%
Ferry-linked isles 45% Increase 100%

 

% Orkney residents who have a good mobile phone signal at home
(Source: National Islands Plan Survey Report 2020 and online results explorer tool)
  2020-21 Baseline 2022-23 Target Five-year target 2026-27
Orkney Mainland 78% Increase 100%
Ferry-linked isles 27% Increase 100%

 

% of people in Orkney very or fairly satisfied with the quality of public transport
(Source: Scottish Household Survey 2019 and Data Explorer)
2020-21 Baseline 2021-22 Milestone 2022-23 Target
61% 70% 80%

 

"% of Orkney residents who agree "When I make journeys to or from my home, it is easy connecting between different forms of transport"
(Source: National Islands Plan Survey Report 2020 and online results explorer tool)
  2020-21 Baseline 2022-23 Target
Orkney Mainland 46% 60%
Orkney Outer Isles 29% 50%

 

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