21
October
2019
|
11:00
Europe/Amsterdam

More homes and businesses ready for superfast broadband

More households and businesses across Scotland can now upgrade to faster fibre broadband through the £460 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) rollout.

It's the first time the programme has brought fibre broadband to several rural locations – from Lumphanan and New Pitsligo in Aberdeenshire to Kinlochard and Tyndrum in Stirling as well as villages like Borthwickbrae and Smailholm in the Scottish Borders.

Across Scotland, thanks to the programme, more than 940,000 premises are now able to connect to the Digital Scotland network as engineers from Openreach continue work on the ground during 2019/20.

Some of the latest premises to be reached – in places like Kilpatrick Durham, Mochrum and Mouswald in Dumfries and Galloway – are connected to a full fibre network. Also known as Fibre-to-the-Premises or FTTP, the technology provides ultrafast1 broadband directly into local homes.

Across the country more than 5,000 new fibre street cabinets are now live – offering broadband services at speeds up to 80Mbps1 – and more than 13,700km of cable has been laid, equal to the length of around 25 per cent of all the roads in Scotland.

Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable connections at a range of speeds1 and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from. Local people can check if the new fibre services are available to them at www.scotlandsuperfast.com/yourstreet.

Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, said: "More and more people are now able to sign up to fibre broadband thanks to the £460 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, and it is particularly pleasing to see this in rural areas and rural market towns.

"The difference that having fibre broadband can make to businesses or to improving the range of services available in the home is amazing. I’d urge everyone to take advantage of the faster speeds now available. There's lots of competition out there and people may find they could be surfing at much higher speeds at a similar cost to their current service, but the key is for customers to contact one or more service providers to explore the options available to them, as upgrades to customers’ broadband packages are not automatic.”

Research has suggested that every £1 in public investment in fibre broadband in Scotland is delivering almost £12 of benefits to the Scottish economy. The independent report commissioned by DSSB and undertaken by consultants Analysys Mason estimates the total benefit from investment as £2.76 billion over 15 years.

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 Building Digital UK (BDUK), BT Group, local authorities and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund, with Openreach leading the build on the ground.

Robert Thorburn, Partnership Director for Openreach in Scotland, said: "The Digital Scotland rollout is still reaching new communities and bringing better broadband to rural residents, families and businesses.

“Better connectivity right across Scotland means digital progress on every level – from pupils doing homework and communities tapping in to the tourist trade online to virtual assistants like Alexa helping vulnerable people to live more independent lives.

“Our focus in the final few months of the project will be building more small, full fibre networks capable of gigabit speeds in harder-to-reach places.”

Thanks to additional investment as a result of innovation and new funding generated by stronger than expected take-up, the rollout will continue in every local authority area during 2019 and into 2020, complementing ongoing commercial build across Scotland. More than 50 per cent of properties reached by the programme have switched to fibre broadband.

Ends

[1] Wholesale services are available over the Openreach network to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary. FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) is available at speeds of up to 80Mbps. FTTP (fibre to the premises) 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.

 

About Openreach

Openreach Limited is the UK’s digital network business.

We’re 33,000 people, working in every community to connect homes, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, mobile phone masts, 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 the UK can be connected. We work on behalf of more than 620 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, BT and Zen, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 27.5m UK premises

Over the last decade we’ve invested more than £13 billion into our network and, at more than 173 million kilometres – it’s now long enough to wrap around the world 4,314 times.

Today we’re building an even faster, more reliable and future-proof broadband network which will be the UK’s digital platform for decades to come. We’re on track to reach four million premises with this ‘full fibre’ technology by March 2021 and ultimately, we want to upgrade the majority of the UK if the conditions are right. We’re also hiring around 3,000 trainee engineers this year to help us build that network and deliver better service across the country.

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

For the year ended 31 March 2019, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.

For more information, visit openreach.co.uk