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BT Confirm 1 Million Premises in Scotland Can Get Fibre Broadband

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 (11:57 am) - Score 461
scotland-map

BT has revealed that its UK-wide £2.5 billion roll-out of “high-speed fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) connectivity has achieved a significant milestone by making the service available to 1 million homes and businesses in Scotland (premises passed), with another 400,000 expected to be done before their commercial deployment is completed.

The £2.5bn investment ultimate intends to expand the reach of BT’s up to 80Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) service out to roughly two thirds (19 million premises) of the United Kingdom by the end of Spring 2014, although the operator has already indicated that they intend to go beyond the original goal in some areas (here). Some ultrafast 330Mbps FTTP has also been deployed but only a tiny amount.

Apparently the project so far has resulted in BTOpenreach rolling out 1,850km of new fibre optic cable and building 3,500 new street cabinets.

Scotland’s 1 Million Milestone (Breakdown of Premises)

330,000 – Glasgow and the West
190,000 – Edinburgh and the Lothians
120,000 – South of Scotland
100,000 – Aberdeen and the North East
93,000 – Tayside and Fife

It’s important to point out that this is all separate to Scotland’s part in the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme, which involves an investment of around £400 million to make BT’s FTTC/P network available to 85% of local premises by the end of 2015 and “around” 95% by the end of 2017 (note: BT’s contribution to that is £126 million).

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland Director, said:

Today marks a high point in Scotland’s development as one of Europe’s leading nations for high-speed communications. Scotland’s fibre infrastructure is growing rapidly, with another 400,000 premises to be passed before our commercial programme is complete.

But with one of the most ambitious fibre partnerships in Europe under way to extend this high-speed technology into the places that the market alone won’t reach, the biggest challenge is yet to come.

Fibre investment in Scotland is not just about kilometres of cable in the ground but about our economic and social capabilities as a country. We’ve recruited around 150 new engineers in recent months as our roll-out gains momentum and we’re proud to be at the heart of Scotland, delivering the digital fabric of the nation.”

Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister, added:

Through the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband Project, the Scottish Government and partner agencies are providing fibre broadband infrastructure to harder to reach areas. Combined with the current commercial roll-out plans, this will give around 95 per cent of premises in Scotland access to fibre broadband by the end of 2017 making it one of the most ambitious broadband infrastructure projects ever to have been undertaken.

The project is an important step towards ensuring that Scotland has world-class digital connectivity by 2020. Our investment, and that of our partners in the project, will extend access to superfast broadband across Scotland. This will be a key factor in ensuring Scotland’s long-term economic prosperity.”

The fact that the 1 million milestone has finally been passed is good news, although we can’t help but wonder how long it will take BT to finish the next 400,000 when the target completion for achieving their commercial programme was set for the end of Spring 2014 (here).

Doing 400k in a little over two months would be more than a little impressive but it’s also possible that some of those premises might form part of their extended commercial roll-out for the post-Spring 2014 period.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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