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Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband celebrates latest fibre broadband availability across Scotland

Press release   •   Feb 25, 2019 12:00 GMT

Digital Scotland partners mark a fibre first in Fintry, Stirling.

More premises across Scotland can now upgrade to faster fibre broadband through the £442 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband rollout.

Thanks to the programme, more premises in more remote areas are now able to connect and the Digital Scotland take-up rates currently stands at 48%. However this still means hundreds of thousands of people could be benefitting, but aren’t.

Fintry in Stirlingshire is an area which has recently gone live with access to fibre. The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband ‘Up your Street’ campaign visited the village to encourage more residents to sign up to fibre broadband and enjoy its many benefits.

The campaign features a branded ad van which is on tour across Scotland, spreading the good news that fibre is now available locally. Representatives from the Digital Scotland programme, Openreach and BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK) met villagers and members of the community council to mark the occasion.

Across Scotland, more than 95 per cent of homes and business can benefit from the Digital Scotland rollout, and including commercial coverage approximately 93%[1] of premises are estimated to be capable of accessing superfast speed of 30Mbps or more. Upgrades are ongoing, with Openreach engineers continuing work on the ground during 2019.

One of the key messages for the ‘Up Your Street’ campaign is that people need to sign up for the new, faster services with an internet service provider of their choice as upgrades are not automatic.

Some of the latest local properties to benefit from access to fibre – including several in the Whitsome (Scottish Borders) and Lesmahagow (South Lanarkshire) exchange areas – can now connect to the most reliable and fastest residential broadband available, as engineers build more full-fibre connections to help harder-to-reach homes join the digital revolution.

Future-proof FTTP (Fibre-to-the-Premises) is capable of delivering the fastest residential broadband speeds in the UK – up to 1Gbps* – about 22 times faster than the current UK average of 46Mbps.

The Digital Scotland rollout is delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland. Other funding partners include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), BT Group, local authorities and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund.

Whether you own a business, work from home or want to keep in touch with friends and family, fibre broadband enables multiple users to connect to the internet at high speeds. Most of the Digital Scotland deployment uses Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology, at speeds of up to 80Mbps*.

Crucially, thanks to additional investment as a result of innovation and new funding generated by stronger than expected take-up, the programme will deliver new DSSB deployment into 2019, complementing ongoing commercial build across Scotland.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “Fast and reliable internet is absolutely vital to communities across Scotland. It helps businesses stay connected with customers and colleagues, and helps families learn, work, play and shop.

“Across Scotland the vast majority of people are able to benefit from fibre broadband however they do need to upgrade their current service.

“Meanwhile our Reaching 100% programme, backed by an initial £600 million investment, plans to deliver superfast broadband access to every home and business in Scotland – the only part of the UK to do so.”

UK Digital Minister Margot James said: “Our rollout of faster broadband across the UK is reaching thousands more homes and businesses every week. Scottish residents and businesses can now reap the clear benefits that faster broadband provides and I would urge people to visit their local project website or the DCMS postcode checker to see if they can get connected.

“To support our ambition for UK-wide full fibre by 2033, the UK Government has allocated up to £700m on full fibre roll out across the UK until the end of 2021.”

Robert Thorburn, Openreach partnership director for Scotland, said: “Fast, reliable broadband is really important to people in every part of Scotland so it’s great to be part of bringing better connectivity to places like Fintry in Stirling. Our growing workforce is out and about in local communities every day, connecting more people.

“Bringing high-speed internet connectivity to rural Scotland is universally acknowledged as one of the hardest builds in Europe. We’re proud of our track record in the Digital Scotland rollout, reaching thousands more homes than asked of us on time and under budget.

“We’ve been working hard on challenges like how to build efficient, full-fibre networks in rural locations, which have now reached some premises in areas like Rosehearty in Aberdeenshire and Longformicus in the Scottish Borders. There’s more to do –

and Scotland can depend on our engineers to get on with the job.”


* These are the top wholesale speed available over the Openreach FTTC and FTTP networks to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

[1] Source :- thinkbroadband,com

Notes to editors:

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

About DSSB

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme aims to provide fibre broadband infrastructure to parts of Scotland not included in commercial providers’ investment plans and has reached around 95 per cent of premises when combined with current commercial roll-out plans.

About BDUK

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:

About Openreach

Openreach is Britain’s digital network business.

We’re 30,400 people who connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses - large and small - to the world.

Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.

We work on behalf of more than 600 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and BT, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 27 million premises. We’re also the platform for Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest in the G20.

We’re working hard to give people the speeds they need to run and enjoy their daily lives. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11 billion into our network and we now manage more than 160 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, from Wales to the east coast. And we’re continuing to take that network further - making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.

Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group, and it is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of our revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom and any company can access our products under the same prices, terms and conditions.

For the year ended 31 March 2018, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.

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