ENGINEERS have notched up a first for Scottish engineering by drafting in a drone to help them lay cabling for a new full-fibre broadband network in challenging Highland terrain.

Openreach is working with the remote community of Glenmazeran and has buried armoured cable along six miles of single-track road through the glen, near the River Findhorn, where most of the 37 homes included in the first phase of the project are located.

However, the drone was needed to reach one remote property on the other side of the fast-flowing river.

Kevin Drain, Openreach’s chief engineer for the North of Scotland, said: “This is the first time we’ve used a drone to drop fibre into place here in Scotland and as a delivery method it’s unbeatable.

“Drones will now become part of our toolkit to reach places where the terrain means traditional engineering is difficult or impossible.”