Douglas Ross MP connects with high-speed broadband

Moray MP Douglas Ross visited Openreach engineers working on one of the first installations of ultrafast broadband technology for new homes in Buckie on Friday (26 July 2019).

He saw a ‘full fibre’ network being built directly into more than 100 new properties near Barhill Road to deliver ultrafast internet connections. The future-proof, reliable services can carry speeds up to 1Gbps1 – around 18.5 times faster than the UK’s current average, which recently topped 54 Mbps according to Ofcom.

The MP also got an update on superfast services locally as he looked inside a local fibre street cabinet. According to the independent website Think Broadband, 87 per cent of Moray premises are now able to connect to broadband at a speed of 30Mbps and above.

Most local services currently make use of street cabinets (known as Fibre-to-the-Cabinet or FTTC) while ultrafast full fibre (Fibre-to-the-Premises or FTTP) goes directly to peoples’ homes.

Mr Ross said: “Broadband is a hot topic among local people who contact me or attend my surgeries, so it’s been useful to see at first hand the progress that’s been made.

“Good connectivity is vital for a strong local economy and, with around nine per cent of Moray households still only able to get a broadband speed of less than 10Mbps, more needs to be done.

“While a full fibre connection remains some distance away for many people in Moray, it’s great to know that some residents in new housing are at the forefront of this next technological revolution. Building full fibre in with the bricks is a no-brainer.

“But while these premises benefit, we have to address the communities who have particularly poor broadband speeds and connections. I will continue to push hard for better broadband for every home and business in Moray.”

As well as its commercial investment in upgrades, Openreach has been working closely with the Scottish and UK Governments, local authorities and other partners since 2013 to bring fibre-based broadband to communities which were not included in any upgrade plans by private companies.

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership rollout has reached more than 33,000 Moray households and businesses, with most able to access FTTC broadband and small deployments of FTTP in areas where it’s the best technical solution.

The visit was hosted by engineering programme manager Ben Dempster, who said: “We know good, reliable broadband is really important to local people. There have been big improvements in Moray, but we know there’s more to do.

“We welcomed the opportunity to show Douglas Ross MP our network and see an example of the next generation of broadband already live in the town. Our engineers are working hard every day to keep local communities, businesses and vital public services connected.”

Openreach’s FTTC footprint, at speeds of up to 80Mbps*, currently passes around 2.6 million homes and business premises in Scotland. It’s also starting to roll out FTTP more widely, with plans to reach four million homes and businesses across the UK by March 2021, and, if the conditions are right, to go significantly beyond.

Notes to editors

*These are wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary. FTTP is capable of delivering the fastest residential broadband speeds in the UK – up to 1Gbps – fast enough to download a two hour HD movie in 25 seconds or a 45-minute HD TV programme in just five seconds.

Read more news about Openreach in Scotland