25
April
2016
|
17:45
Europe/Amsterdam

More places across Scotland get set for a superfast boost

Summary
Nearly 580,000 households and businesses across Scotland now have access to their fastest-ever broadband speeds through the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband rollout. Now smaller villages from Drumlithie in Aberdeenshire to Bonchester Bridge in the Scottish Borders are next in line for a fibre boost.

Nearly 580,000 households and businesses across Scotland now have access to their fastest-ever broadband speeds through the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband rollout.

New street cabinets to deliver high-speed fibre services are already live in many rural communities. To benefit from the faster connection speeds, residents need to sign up for a fibre service with their chosen provider, as upgrades aren’t automatic.

Other places are now set to follow, with smaller villages from Drumlithie in Aberdeenshire to Bonchester Bridge in the Scottish Borders next in line for a fibre boost thanks to the £410m Digital Scotland partnership, led by the Scottish Government.

Engineers expect the first fibre connections to be available in the villages by this autumn* as Openreach, BT’s local network business, continues work on the ground. A full list of the locations is at the end of this news release.

All the work in this next tranche of upgrades will be on ‘Exchange Only’ lines, once thought to be out of reach of fibre broadband as they run direct from telephone exchanges to homes, bypassing the street cabinets which are vital to the fibre rollout.

Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable broadband connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps** and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from.

Whether you own a business, work from home, research homework or keep in touch with friends and family, fibre broadband enables multiple users to connect to the internet and get better access to online services and faster uploads and downloads.

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme underpins the Scottish Government’s aim for Scotland to become a world class digital nation by 2020. It will deliver access to fibre broadband to around 95% of premises by the end of March 2018, when combined with existing commercial roll-out plans.

The programme is delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in their area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland project.

Other funding partners include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund. BT is investing £126 million in the two projects, on top of its commercial rollout.

Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “Many residents and businesses are now able to sign up for fibre broadband thanks to our programme, with more local coverage on its way.

“As with any engineering rollout on this scale there are risks and things do change from time to time, so we’re making improvements to our website to make sure people can get the very latest information with just a few clicks.

“You can find out all about the rollout and sign up to be kept in the loop for progress reports, at www.scotlandsuperfast.com.”

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland Director, added: “We’re pleased to be bringing fibre technology to more rural parts of the country as the Digital Scotland partnership continues on track. This is a challenging project, but we are making real progress.

“We’re also reminding local people to check if they’re among the two million households and business premises in Scotland who can already get high speed services. There’s lots of competition in the broadband market, and people may be pleasantly surprised to discover they could be surfing at much higher speeds at a similar cost to their current service.

“Once you’ve tried superfast broadband, you’ll never look back.”

Local people can check the interactive map on the Digital Scotland website (http://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/where-when/) to find out if they can get the service and further information is also available on Twitter @ScotSuperfast or Facebook atwww.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast

Ends

*Our deployment plans are subject to change. The expectations reflected in this plan are reasonable, but because our rollout involves risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ from those expressed or implied.

**These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

The next locations scheduled for fibre rollout in the Rest of Scotland area are:

Local AuthorityExchanges coming soon
Aberdeenshire Drumlithie
Dumfries & GallowayBargrennan, Dunscore
East Ayrshire Fenwick
East Lothian Innerwick
FalkirkAvonbridge
FifeArncroach
Perth and KinrossBallinluig
Scottish BordersBonchester Bridge, Crailing, Heriot, Walkerburn
South AyrshireBallantrae, Dailly
West Lothian Dechmont

Notes to editors

Due to the current network topography and the economics of deployment, it is likely that not all premises within selected exchange areas will be able to access fibre-based broadband at the same point in the roll-out. Further announcements will be made as more areas are able to access the growing fibre infrastructure.