Ivan McKee MSP connects with ultrafast broadband

Glasgow Provan MSP Ivan McKee this week visited Openreach engineers working on an installation of ultrafast broadband technology for new homes in the city.

The Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation saw a ‘full fibre’ network being built directly into a large development at Inverleith 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 54Mbps according to Ofcom.

The MSP also got an update on superfast services locally as he saw the inner workings of a nearby fibre street cabinet. According to the independent website Think Broadband, nearly 99 per cent of premises in Glasgow are now able to connect to broadband at a superfast speed of 30Mbps and above.

Superfast services 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.

Ivan McKee said: “Good connectivity is vital for bringing new investment to Scotland and enabling Scottish businesses to innovate and compete in a global market. It’s essential to productivity and prosperity.

“I was pleased to hear about Openreach’s plans for full fibre infrastructure in Scotland and that the Scottish Government’s move to extend rates relief on fibre build helps make this more attractive.

“Scotland is at the start of a journey from copper to full fibre connectivity, so it’s great that people moving into these new city homes will have access to the best connections. Putting full fibre in with the bricks in new developments is a no-brainer, and I am glad to hear that Openreach is working closely with builders on this.

“I also welcome its plans for an extensive full fibre build in parts of greater Glasgow like Bearsden and Giffnock, where work is already under way, and the fact that 25 per cent of homes in Glasgow City can already access its ultrafast services.”

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 91,300 Glasgow households and businesses.

Brendan Dick, chair of the Openreach Board in Scotland, who hosted the visit, said: “We know good, reliable broadband is really important to local people. Glasgow already enjoys a high degree of reliable, fast connectivity and our latest investments will help make sure it stays that way for generations to come.

“Only Openreach has the commitment, experience, skills and large local workforce needed to deliver an open, digital network for all of Scotland that’s fit for the future.”

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

1 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