Another 26,000 premises across the country can now get fibre broadband through the £428 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband rollout.
Thanks to the programme more than 870,000 premises are able to connect to the new network, which has reached places like Bearsden, Torrance, Milton of Campsie and Lennoxtown. Each week the programme, one of the largest broadband infrastructure projects in Europe, reaches more remote and rural areas.
Across the country around 4,355 new fibre street cabinets are now live and more than 10,000km of cable has been laid by engineers from Openreach, Scotland’s digital network business. 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.
Local people need to sign up for the new, faster services with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic. To help promote the fact that fibre is widely available in East Dunbartonshire the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband team was out in Bearsden and Lennoxtown.
Delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland – funding partners also 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. With more than 870,000 premises now having access to fibre broadband, the Digital Scotland programme expects to confirm shortly, following the usual assurance process, that its 95 per cent fibre coverage target was met at the end of 2017.
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 in every local authority area during 2018 and beyond, complementing ongoing commercial build across Scotland.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Once again it is very positive news knowing that more premises than ever before now have fibre broadband available to them.
“However, these upgrades are not automatic. I would encourage more people to check whether they are eligible on the DSSB website and contact a service provider of their choice to start receiving faster broadband.
“I am not complacent – I am aware that those who do not have access are at a disadvantage and our job is not done until everyone is connected. We are now focusing on the next steps to achieve 100 per cent coverage by 2021.”
East Dunbartonshire Council’s Depute Chief Executive for Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets, Thomas Glen said: “I am delighted that more areas across East Dunbartonshire can now access fibre broadband thanks to the programme.
“Whether it’s young people doing homework research, families downloading a box set, businesses making transactions or older people keeping in touch with friends, fibre broadband can make it all happen easily."
Robert Thorburn, Openreach digital partnership director for Scotland, said: “The Digital Scotland rollout is a huge success story, especially given the significant extra work and unique challenges posed by our vast geography.
“At the start of the Digital Scotland project we said we’d reach an additional 750,000 premises on top of our commercial investments, and we’ve gone well beyond this. More than 2.5 million Scottish households and businesses now have access to high speed broadband over the Openreach digital network.
“Of course there’s more to do and our engineers are keeping up the pace to reach even more remote and rural communities during 2018.”