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Midlothian will see more superfast broadband coverage
13th April 2017
Midlothian will see more superfast broadband coverage for homes and businesses thanks to the early success of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) project.
Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution Derek Mackay announced this week that strong take up figures mean that an additional £15.6m is being re- invested back into the programme.
The Digital Scotland rollout consists of two projects – one covering the Highlands and Islands area and the other covering the rest of Scotland.
Across Scotland, more than 710,000 premises are now able to connect to fibre-based services through the Digital Scotland project, led by the Scottish Government and delivered on the ground by Openreach, BT’s local network business.
Thanks tostrong early take up of fibre broadband, BT has made available additional funding under the contract earlier than planned.
lt means that many places, such as premises currently in very rural areas or those not benefitting from any uplift in speed, as well as ‘new build’ premises built between 2012 and 2014, will now be able to get superfast broadband thanks to the programme.
Work is already under way and will be complete by December 2018 – it will mean that 98.3% of Midlothian will have access to fibre broadband including assumed commercial coverage by this time.
Last October it was also announced that the Highlands and Islands programme also received an additional £2.3m.
Mr Mackay said: “Thanks to the success of the DSSB programme, I am delighted that more premises than originally planned in Midlothian will now have the opportunity to benefit from reliable broadband.”
We are already looking at how we reach further and ultimately ensure that we can get superfast speeds to all. This will include areas not yet reached, as well as those who are part of the network already but currently too far from the current cabinets to have achieved superfast speeds.”
The current programme will deliver access to fibre broadband to around 95% of premises by the end of December 2017, when combined with existing commercial roll-out plans. Today’s announcement means that more homes will benefit as well as achieve a superfast speed by December 2018 looking to take fibre coverage to over 97% in the rest of Scotland project area.
It underpins the Scottish Government’s aim for Scotland to become a world class digital nation by 2020 and the commitment that 100% of premises will have access to superfast broadband by 2021.
BT has already invested £126m in the partnership on top of its commercial investments in Scotland.
Robert Thorburn, BT Scotland’s Fibre Broadband Director, said: “We are proud of the Digital Scotland rollout – a massive infrastructure project that’s being delivered on time and on budget and provides a vital digital network for Scotland for generations to come. It’s built in to the contract that strong take-up levels trigger the release of funds for reinvestment back into the network, and BT has chosen to release these funds early so we can go further.”
Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps* and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from.
*These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.