Perth MSP connects with high-speed broadband

Perth and North Perthshire MP Pete Wishart today visited Openreach engineers to see how they’re building ultrafast broadband technology for new homes in the city.

He saw a ‘full fibre’ network built directly into properties in the city’s Oakbank area to deliver ultrafast internet connections directly to people’s homes. 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. Superfast services make use of street cabinets (known as Fibre-to-the-Cabinet or FTTC).

According to the independent website Think Broadband, nearly 88 per cent of premises in Perth and North Perthshire are now able to connect to broadband at a superfast speed of 30Mbps and above. It also shows that 16 per cent of local homes can already get an ultrafast broadband service from the company, using a mix of technologies.

Pete Wishart said: “We’re at the start of a move to a full-fibre future as the old copper telecoms network gradually comes to the end of its working life. It was useful to see how engineers go about installing this new technology where the fibre runs directly to people’s homes.

“The process is expected to take years, 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.”

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 42,800 Perth and Kinross households and businesses.

Openreach is also working with local housebuilders to install full-fibre technology into housing developments in places like Blairgowrie, Rattray, Kenmore, Aberfeldy and Auchterarder as well as Perth.

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. Perth already enjoys a high degree of reliable, fast connectivity and our latest investments will boost this further.

“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

*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


About Openreach

Openreach Limited is the UK’s digital network business.  

We’re more than 35,000 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 665 communications providers like BT, SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and Zen, and our broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 31.8m premises. 

Over the last decade we’ve invested more than £15 billion into our network and, at more than 190 million kilometres – it’s now long enough to wrap around the world 4,798 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 making progress towards our full fibre optic network target to reach 25 million premises by December 2026. Research shows a nationwide Full Fibre network could potentially provide a £59bn boost to UK productivity.

To help build the new fibre network and deliver better service across the country – we’ve created and filled more than 9,000 apprenticeship roles in the last two years and we’re recruiting another 1,000 trainee roles in Openreach in 2021. We’re also building greener – we operate the UK’s second largest commercial fleet and want to help lead the transition to electric vehicles, with a target to transition our fleet to being electric in 2030. 

Openreach is a highly regulated, wholly owned, and independently governed unit 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 2021, we reported revenue of £5,244m.

For more information, visit www.openreach.co.uk