1m homes connected
Fife village tops list of Openreach network hotspots
Openreach has revealed that more than a million homes in Scotland can now access ultrafast broadband and a small village in Fife tops the list of the best performing locations.
While cities are often perceived to have the best service, small towns have the highest levels of fibre.
Lundin Links, Fife, has the highest coverage in the whole of Scotland, with more than nine out of 10 properties able to upgrade to ultrafast broadband. Tranent, on the other side of the Forth, is a fraction behind and the West Lothian village of Fauldhouse is third.
Ardrossan on the North Ayrshire coast, Aviemore in Highland and Findhorn in Moray all make the top 20. In Glasgow, the build has now passed 125,000 properties, while in Aberdeen engineers have reused the city’s old cable TV network from the 1980s to speed up the rollout.
Openreach, the arms-length digital network subsidiary of BT, has invested more than £300 million in Scotland’s network. Just 360,000 households and businesses out of a possible million have upgraded to the faster, ultra-reliable services.
Katie Milligan, chair of the Openreach Scotland board, said: “Scots use roughly 100 million Gigabytes of data on our network each week – equivalent to every single person in the country watching a full HD movie every day – and data consumption is rising every single year.
“That’s why our investment in the new fibre network is so important. Using tiny glass threads thinner than human hairs, it will meet data demands decades into the future.
“This digital upgrade is a massive deal for Scotland. Transformative connectivity helps make communities sustainable – people can stay local and take full advantage of online opportunities.
“It’s brilliant to reach one million homes and businesses, and a huge thank you must go to our engineers and build partners who’ve helped make it happen. But we’re not stopping there…”
Openreach is also working with the Scottish and UK governments, through the Reaching 100% (R100) programme and voucher schemes, to take fibre to Scotland’s most rural areas and hardest-to-reach properties.
Upgrades are currently ongoing from the shores of Loch Leven to island communities like Lismore and Jura, with R100 build due to start in places like Pitcaple in Aberdeenshire, Hillside in Angus, Ballachulish and Cromarty in Highland and Birsay in Orkney soon.
Scottish Government Innovation Minister Richard Lochhead said: “This is an important milestone in the drive to ensure more homes and businesses across Scotland benefit from full fibre broadband, improving vital connectivity.
“We are working with Openreach to roll-out future-proofed digital infrastructure to our rural towns and villages and this Reaching 100% build, alongside Openreach’s commercial network, will underpin economic growth and enhance communities across Scotland for decades to come.”
UK Government Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure Sir John Whittingdale said: “Thanks to UK government investment, thousands of rural homes, businesses and public buildings across Scotland now have access to first class broadband fit for the future.
“Over three quarters of premises across the UK can now access these faster speeds and with more collaboration with network builders like Openreach at a local and national level, we will see even more rural towns and villages staking their claim to this next-generation connectivity.”