The Digital Scotland (DSSB) initiative, managed in conjunction with BT (Openreach), has expanded beyond its original targets and continues to grow by increasing Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) ultrafast broadband access to rural parts of Scotland, particularly in Lanarkshire and Aberdeenshire.
The project, which is funded by £442 million worth of public and private investment, has resulted in 12,000km of new cables laid, and roughly 5,000 new fibre street cabinets installed across the country.
A total of 930,000 premises, amounting to 95 per cent of Scotland, have now been connected to superfast broadband with download speeds of more than 24Mbps. It is, however, important to note that customers are required to request the upgrade from their internet service providers, and that it is not an automatic one.
Openreach and Digital Scotland reported that the DSSB project rollout will continue throughout 2019 and even into 2020 (due to the fact that there is no specific completion date) in every local authority area to maximise full fibre technology expansion across the country. Not only this, ultrafast FTTP infrastructure will be increasingly deployed so as to satisfy the UK government’s full fibre strategy.
Most recently, residents in North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and Aberdeenshire have been connected to the FTTP network.
Partnership director for Openreach (Scotland), Robert Thorburn, said: “We’re working hard to bring better broadband to as many people as possible, going much further than expected after beating original targets. Across Scotland, an extra 60,000 premises will benefit.
“Our engineers are now reaching increasingly remote communities as well as boosting coverage across North Lanarkshire. The arrival of full fibre broadband in places like Greengairs will be life-changing for residents and businesses. The use of full fibre, where it’s the best solution, puts those households ahead of the curve for years to come.”
Telecommunications consulting and research firm, Analysys Mason, projected that the DSSB initiative could add £2.76 billion in value to the Scottish economy in the next 15 years.