New ‘superfast’ broadband rollout for Scotland

By Sooraj Shah
16 Jan 2014 View Comments
scotland-flag-and-buildings-web

More than 39,000 homes and businesses in Scotland will be able to get access to fibre broadband, as part of the £410m Digital Scotland partnership.

People in 37 areas around the county, in 13 local authority areas, will be able to access fibre broadband speeds of up to 80Mbps by this summer.

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Aberdeen City, Dundee City, Fife and Stirling are among the areas to benefit from the project, while some areas such as Castle Douglas, Melrose and Taynuilt are to receive "high speed technology" for the first time.

The project is part of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband initiative, which covers a Highlands and Islands project and another project which covers the rest of Scotland. Today's announcement includes the details of the first locations to be upgraded as part of the rest of Scotland project, as well as the names of further locations in the Highlands and Islands project.

The Digital Scotland partnership has been funded by partners including the Scottish government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund.

BT was selected as the provider to roll out the open access fibre network, with the telecoms giant investing £126m in the initiative.

The Digital Scotland partnership claims that more than 750,000 homes and business premises are expected to benefit from the overall project.

The initiative sits alongside BT's commercial rollout in the UK, which aims to bring faster broadband to more than 1.4 million Scottish homes and businesses by the end of spring 2014. BT claims that nearly 900,000 premises already have access to the broadband.

Culture minister Ed Vaizey suggested that the British government's £100.8m investment in Digital Scotland "will help take superfast broadband to some of the most remote locations in the country, who would otherwise be left in the digital slow lane".

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