Kirkwall swaps iconic red payphone kiosks for superfast fibre broadband

New fibre-based broadband services are now available to around a further 170 homes and businesses in Kirkwall thanks to a UK first, where unused payphones have been replaced with a superfast fibre broadband cabinet.

Kirkwall phonebox

Engineering requirements for the new technology meant that the only suitable location for the new fibre cabinet was where two red payphone kiosks were situated, next to The Strynd in Kirkwall town centre.

The growth of mobile phones has meant that usage of payphones has declined by 90 per centre in the past decade and, with the agreement of Orkney Islands Council, the payphones were removed by BT and the kiosks adopted by the council.

The local authority now plans to site the iconic boxes elsewhere in the town, using them as part of heritage improvements. Several other BT Payphones in the town centre are continuing to operate.

The latest 170 new premises are among 4,600 households and businesses in Kirkwall – and more than 8,000 across Orkney – now able to upgrade to speeds of up to 80Mbps thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband project.

We also expect to bring additional coverage to Kirkwall later this year as well as reaching places such as Birsay, Finstown, Harray, Sandwick, Tankerness and Westray.