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Scotland Names the Next Batch of “Fibre Broadband” Roll-out Areas

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016 (10:56 am) - Score 1,908

The £410 million Digital Scotland project has today confirmed the next set of locations that will benefit from an upgrade to Openreach’s (BT) “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network, which is due to start this Winter (2016).

The on-going programme currently aims to ensure that 95% of premises in Scotland are put within reach of the new network by the end of March 2018 (i.e. benefiting an additional 750,000 premises), although the target for the Highland and Islands region alone is just 84% by the end of 2016.

So far some 600,000 homes and businesses have already befitted from the effort (2 million+ if you include upgrades from purely commercial deployments) and 50,000 of those were reached in the last three months alone.

Overall around 2,800 new ‘up to’ 80Mbps FTTC Street Cabinets are now live across 620 Scottish exchange areas and more than 7,500km of cable has been laid by engineers from BTOpenreach.

Ed Vaizey, UK Digital Economy Minister, said:

“The UK Government wants everyone in Scotland to have fast broadband, which is why we’re investing more than £120m to take fibre broadband to as many parts of Scotland as possible. Thanks in part to this UK funding, more than eight out of ten Scottish homes and businesses can now get superfast broadband, and we’ve reached more than 600,000 premises as part of this project who would otherwise have missed out.”

Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, said:

“We are now more than half way through the roll-out of the programme and as we progress we are starting to reach very small and more remote communities like Forgue in Aberdeenshire. Deploying fibre to areas like this is part of the plan that will help ensure that Scotland becomes a world class digital nation by 2020.”

The programme itself is being delivered via two projects, one led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland. Other funding partners include the central Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, BT, local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Digital Scotland’s Phase 1 Contract Funding

The Highlands and Islands (£145.8m):
• £126.4m from public bodies (Scottish Government, Broadband Delivery UK [£50.83m], Highland and Islands Enterprise and all seven local authorities in the project area)
• £19.4m from BT.

The Rest of Scotland (£264m):
• £157m from public sources (Scottish Government, ERDF, Broadband Delivery UK [£50m], and all 27 local authorities that form part of the Rest of Scotland Project area)
• £106.7m from BT.

Work is already taking place to develop a second contract that will extend coverage even further, but this has yet to enter procurement. In the meantime this latest phase of the Digital Scotland project will begin in the winter (2016/17) and seems to be focused upon smaller communities, such as Crathes in Aberdeenshire, Balmacara in the Highlands, Blair Atholl in Perth and Kinross, Lochinver in NW Sutherland and Carsphairn in Dumfries and Galloway.

NOTE: As usual we should mention that the following roll-out plan is still tentative and could change. Similarly Openreach often doesn’t cover 100% of the areas that it targets, at least not right away.

The next Rest of Scotland areas are:

Local Authority New exchange area (rest of Scotland)
Aberdeenshire Catterline, Crathes, Eden, Forgue, Whiterashes
Dumfries & Galloway Bentpath, Boreland, Carsphairn, Carrutherstown, Drummore
Falkirk Slamannan
Perth and Kinross Blair Atholl, Glenalmond, Tummel Bridge
Scottish Borders Camptown

The next Highlands and Islands areas:

Local Authority New exchange area (Highlands and Islands)
Argyll & Bute Achnamara, Cairndow, Crinan, Glenbarr, Kilchrenan, Minard, Southend, Whitehouse
Arran & Cumbrae Kildonan
Highland Applecross, Aultbea, Badachro, Balmacara, Bridge of Westfield, Carbost, Dornie, Farr, Forss, Glenelg, Glenshiel, Kinlochbervie, Kinlocheil, Latheron, Lochbroom, Lochinver, Morvern, Nigg, Nigg Station, North Erradale, Poyntzfield, Skeabost Bridge, Staffin, Strathy, Stromeferry, Whiteface.
Moray Ballindalloch, Mulben
Shetland Bigton, Bixter, North Roe, Ollaberry
Western Isles Balallan, Carnan, Gravir, Grogarry, Locheport, Sollas

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Mark Jackson
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.
Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Avatar NGA for all says:

    It is great to see optical fibre reach the isles. The Rev John Kerr should be recognised by the Royal Society in Scotland for his contribution to optics.

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