Follow BT Regions

Rollout reaches new milestone

Press Release   •  Jun 14, 2017 11:30 BST

Engineers working on the Digital Scotland rollout have reached 77,000 more premises

Over 750,000 Scottish homes and businesses can now connect to fibre broadband thanks to the £428 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

It means that more than 90% of Scotland now has access to fibre broadband thanks to commercial deployment and the programme, which is part of our commitment to deliver 100% superfast broadband access across Scotland by 2021.

The milestone was passed as Connectivity Secretary Fergus Ewing visited BRAG Enterprises in Lochgelly – a social enterprise benefitting from the arrival of fibre broadband in the town.

Welcoming the milestone he said:

“I am delighted that more people are now able to benefit from fibre broadband, with over 750,000 premises across Scotland now able to connect (through the programme). Businesses like this one here in Lochgelly – one of the 77,000 reached by the rollout in the last six months - can now connect to their fastest-ever broadband speeds for the first time, showing our investment in digital infrastructure is paying off.

“The programme is reaching more communities than originally planned and will continue to do so in the coming months. However, local people need to sign up for the new, faster services with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic. I am of course aware that many homes and businesses do not yet have access. Under the further R100 contract, we will be proceeding with the next phase of our pledge to enable access to broadband for every home and business to Scotland within the lifetime of this Scottish Parliament.”

Paul Melvin, Facilities Manager at BRAG said:

“The difference that fibre has made here is amazing, small businesses like Re-Employ based in the facility who struggled to upload are really benefitting. Now they can download material and their production has increased.”

Robert Thorburn, BT Scotland’s Fibre Broadband Director, said:

“The Digital Scotland fibre rollout has continued to make good progress over the last six months, reaching places like Port Askaig and Crinan in Argyll and Bute, Benbecula in the Western Isles and Glencaple in Dumfries and Galloway. Thanks to engineering innovation, thousands of people on lines once thought to be incapable of carrying a superfast service are now able to upgrade to higher speeds.

“And with strong take-up rates set to drive the reinvestment of millions of pounds back into the network, we look forward to continuing work on this huge and challenging infrastructure project to benefit the people of Scotland.”

Background

The Digital Scotland programme is delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland. Other funding partners include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), BT, local authorities and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund. BT is investing £126M in the programme.

About BDUK

Superfast Britain is a UK Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:

  • £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017
  • £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
  • £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services

Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.

For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2017, BT Group’s reported revenue was £24,062m with reported profit before taxation of £2,354m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and