Thousands more Scottish homes in line for superfast broadband
More than 80,000 homes and businesses in 67 locations across Scotland will be next to get fibre broadband in the latest phase of the £410 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.
The locations, from Wick and Thurso in Caithness to Maybole and Tarbolton in South Ayrshire, are spread across 13 Scottish local authority areas. The first premises in these locations are expected to benefit from fibre broadband during Spring 2015.
Local people will have access to fibre services at speeds of up to 80Mbps1, thanks to the engineering rollout being delivered on the ground by BT’s local network business, Openreach.
As part of today’s announcement, the programme will reach 15 new communities in the Highlands and Islands, extending into Caithness for the first time. The West of Scotland also gets a big boost, with more than 40,000 premises across the city of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and Dunbartonshire set to benefit.
Most places – such as Aberdour, Ballachulish, Banchory, Bishopbriggs, Dalmally, and Govan – will receive high speed technology for the first time, while others will see additional premises connected as a result of building upon their existing, or planned, fibre broadband networks. A full list of locations is below.
The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme aims to provide fibre broadband infrastructure to areas not covered by commercial deployment. Combined with commercial roll-out plans by the private sector, around 85% of premises in Scotland will have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2015/16 and 95% by the end of 2017/18.
Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister, said: “This latest announcement marks another important milestone for the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership.
“The scale of the challenge of delivering fibre broadband across our communities in Scotland shouldn’t be underestimated but engineers are working hard and making good progress. One major component – the huge sub-sea project to lay cables out to the islands – is now largely complete. It’s also fantastic to see the project extending into places like Joppa in East Ayrshire and Spean Bridge in the Highlands which will benefit greatly from the economic advantages fibre broadband brings.
“We are still in the early stages of this ambitious partnership project, but it is already delivering for thousands of Scottish homes and businesses who simply wouldn’t have had access to high-speed technology without it.
“It’s a fundamental part of the Scottish Government’s aim to deliver world class connectivity by 2020, enabling people across Scotland to connect any time, any place, anywhere using any device.”
The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband initiative consists of two projects – one covering the Highlands and Islands area, led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and the other covering the Rest of Scotland. The first cabinets went live in March and April of this year in Buckie and Kirkton of Skene, Aberdeenshire. In total, more than three quarters of a million homes and business premises are expected to benefit.
BT is investing £126 million in the partnership programme, in addition to its £2.5bn UK commercial rollout of fibre broadband. The advance of the partnership roll-out, coupled with BT’s ongoing commercial upgrades, means that more than 1.3m Scottish homes and businesses now have access to Openreach’s fibre broadband network.
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “The arrival of fibre broadband in these latest communities will be great news for local homes and businesses. In a few months’ time local people will be streaming, shopping, learning and sharing faster than ever before. Fibre broadband opens up lots of new online opportunities, whether you’re a busy mum juggling work with homework, a commuter wanting to work from home or a business contemplating moving functions to the cloud.
“The civil engineering project underpinning this new network is not just one of the biggest in Scotland but is among the most complex anywhere in Europe. Openreach has been recruiting dozens of extra engineers to help shape Scotland’s future and many of our young apprentices are gaining valuable experience helping to connect up people to fibre in local communities across Scotland.”
UK Government Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “The UK Government is investing more than £120m in the transformation of Scotland’s digital landscape, and today’s announcement of the next 80,000 homes and businesses in Scotland due to benefit from the rollout of superfast broadband is fantastic news.”
Funding partners include the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund, as well as BT.
Locations will be announced quarterly for the life of the projects as the fibre network rolls out across Scotland. Further local detail will be provided as plans advance and anyone interested in the roll-out can keep up to date and get more detail at www.digitalscotland.org
Audio clips to support this announcement are available from BT Scotland director Brendan Dick at: https://audioboom.com/btscotland
The full list of locations being announced today is as follows:
areaLocal AuthorityNew exchange
areaLocal AuthorityAberdeen BucksburnAberdeen CityNewmillsFifeAberdeen DyceAberdeen CityGlasgow
Rutherglen*Glasgow CityBanchoryAberdeenshireThursoHighlandKildrummyAberdeenshireWickHighlandNewtonhillAberdeenshireBallachulishHighlandNewmacharAberdeenshireKildaryHighlandTorphinsAberdeenshireKiltarlityHighlandBalvicarArgyll and ButeOnichHighlandConnelArgyll and ButeSpean BridgeHighlandDalmallyArgyll and ButeClochanMorayKilmelfordArgyll and ButeLongmornMorayDalrympleEast AyrshireRothesMorayDronganEast AyrshireRothiemayMorayJoppa*East AyrshireAnnbankSouth AyrshireGlasgow
DunbartonshireMayboleSouth AyrshireAberdourFifeTarboltonSouth AyrshireLimekilnsFifeGlasgow
Lanarkshire Additional coverage in areas which already have existing or planned fibre coverageLocal AuthorityAdditional coverage in areas which already have existing or planned fibre coverageLocal AuthorityKirkintillochEast DunbartonshireAlnessHighlandGlasgow Giffnock*East RenfrewshireBeaulyHighlandMerryleeEast RenfrewshireDornochHighlandNewton MearnsEast RenfrewshireFort WilliamHighlandGlasgow BellGlasgow CityInvernessHighlandGlasgow BridgetonGlasgow CityNairnHighlandGlasgow DouglasGlasgow CityStrathpefferHighlandGlasgow Giffnock*Glasgow CityTainHighlandGlasgow Halfway*Glasgow CityElginMorayGlasgow IbroxGlasgow CityBuckieMorayGlasgow LangsideGlasgow CityForresMorayGlasgow MerryleeGlasgow CityKeithMorayGlasgow ProvanmillGlasgow CityGlasgow Halfway*RenfrewshireGlasgow SpringburnGlasgow CityJohnstoneRenfrewshireGlasgow PaisleyRenfrewshire
* These exchanges feature twice because they serve premises in more than one local authority area.
Notes to editors
1 These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
All forward looking plans are subject to change. The expectations reflected in this forward-looking plan are reasonable, but because our rollout involves risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking plans.
The Rest of Scotland project is being supported through £157.6 million public funding including £50 million from BDUK and BT’s private investment of £106.7 million. The public funding includes funding from all 27 local authorities in the project area and additional funding from 14 local authorities who are investing around £51 million to increase coverage, meet local priorities and address the digital divide in their areas.
The public sector investment in the Highlands and Islands project is £126.4m. It is being delivered through the Scottish Government broadband fund, which incorporates funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), and also includes up to £12m from HIE’s own budget. BT is contributing £19.4 million in addition to its commercial investment in the region.
The Rest of Scotland project area includes the following local authority areas: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, parts of Argyll & Bute, Clackmannanshire, Dumfries & Galloway, Dundee City, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, City of Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow City, Inverclyde, Midlothian, North Ayrshire (apart from the Islands), North Lanarkshire, Perth & Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian.
The Highlands and Islands project is led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and includes the following local authority areas: Highland, Moray, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands, Eilean Siar (Western Isles), parts of Argyll and Bute and part of North Ayrshire (Islands).
Superfast Britain is a UK Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:
- £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017
- £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
- £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services
Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.
For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk