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Digital Scotland Delivers 900,000 Superfast Broadband Premises

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 (4:17 pm) - Score 2,277

The £428 million Digital Scotland (DSSB) project with BT (Openreach) has announced that their roll-out of FTTC and FTTP based “superfast broadband” ISP technology has managed to reach an additional 900,000 homes and businesses across Scotland since it began.

The update itself doesn’t really add much new information to what we already knew, although they do update to say that around 4,500 new FTTC (VDSL2) based street cabinets are now live and more than 11,800km of optical fibre cable has been laid by engineers from Openreach, who are continuing work on the project into 2019 (25,000 premises are planned for the Highlands and Islands); mostly funded by gainshare/clawback and savings from high consumer take-up in the initial contract.

Some of the most recent locations to go live include parts of Cortachy in Angus; Dunscore in Dumfries and Galloway; and the rural village of Forgue, Aberdeenshire, are now able to receive “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) for the first time. Openreach also said that they will be using more ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology in the final stages.

As a result of all this, as well as separate commercial deployments (e.g. Virgin Media), it’s estimated that nearly 94% of premises across Scotland can now order a “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) capable connection (note: the upgrades are not automatic for consumers).

Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Connectivity, said:

“Fast and reliable internet is absolutely vital to communities across Scotland. It helps businesses stay connected with customers and colleagues, and helps families learn, work, play and shop.

That is why it was fantastic to visit Andrew from Scarletts Honey today and learn about how the infrastructure, delivered as part of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, has made such a difference to the day-to-day running of the business.

The Scottish Government is not stopping there. Our Reaching 100% programme, backed by an initial £600 million investment, plans to deliver superfast broadband access to every home and business in Scotland by the end of 2021 – the only part of the UK to do so.”

Robert Thorburn, Fibre Partnership Director for Openreach, said:

“The Digital Scotland project and our hard-working engineers have delivered more coverage at faster speeds than expected. As we mark another major milestone, it’s fantastic that work will continue into 2019 thanks to extra funds generated through innovation, partnership efficiencies and strong take-up.

Hundreds of the latest properties passed by the new network can now connect to the most reliable and fastest residential broadband available as we’re using more Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) to help these harder-to-reach homes join the digital revolution.

Good connectivity is essential to a strong local economy and lets people live, learn, work and build businesses locally. We’re proud to be a partner in helping communities across Scotland reach their digital potential.”

You can find more information about the Scottish Government’s £600m pledge to bring “superfast broadband” (defined in the next contract as 30Mbps+) access to all premises via their future R100 project here and here, which is currently trying to pick from a selection of suppliers (e.g. BT, Gigaclear etc.) and could complete by the end of 2021 or March 2022 as a financial year.

Leave a Comment
14 Responses
  1. Avatar Brian says:

    Its a pity they concentrated on town and village centres, ignoring the properties on the longer lines with the lowest speeds

    1. Avatar Adam says:

      We’ll be next, i’m sure. I’m slap bang in the middle of 3 villages, all of which now have fttc. I am connected to a cabinet but it had to be 1 from the village furthest away (3km) The other 2 are under 1km east and west of me. Me and those in similar circumstances will be overlooked until we are able to request the USO. Which isn’t far off. Its just a matter of man power after the USO is in effect.

  2. Avatar chris conder says:

    Don’t hold your breath Adam, you are now part of the statistics and you now get superfast if you are connected to an enabled cabinet. That is why the whole thing is such a scam.It has taken 10 years to get this fttc rubbish to your area, it will take another decade before any uso comes into force, and even then you will be last on the line…

    1. Avatar TheFacts says:

      How many more times do you have to be told that a premises is not counted unless it can receive the superfast speed.

    2. Avatar Gadget says:

      Given some alt net rollout speeds it could take around 900 years to reach the same 900.000 with FTTP, so perhaps 900,000 in the time taken since contract signature isn’t so bad after all to increase speeds ahead of a 900 year wait for FTTP.

    3. Avatar Brian says:

      Independent analysis seems to point to they are including around 50000 who can’t get superfast.

    4. Avatar Gadget says:

      I assume you mean the Thinkbroadband data which does make clear it depends what you are counting – in terms of passing or what the minimum threshold speed being used is. It would be useful to understand of the “gap” if many, whilst not getting 15Mbps are nevertheless having a significant uplift to their existing speeds which can only be worthwhile in the here and now.

  3. Avatar Jon says:

    It’s easy to have a chip on your shoulder upgrading a fraction of the uk with BARN,and you deserve the plaudits you receive but for a mammoth company over 27million lines now have decent internet. Yes FTTP is the future but the whole country cannot be done at once! The tides are finally turning to get rid of copper, as a fibre champion be more positive!

    1. Avatar GNewton says:

      While the latest fibre ambitions are to be applauded, the fact is BT is still more than a decade too late. It, and the government as well as Ofcom, have followed the wrong path in the past.

    2. Avatar 10Mbit USO says:

      If the end goal is 100% superfast broadband or better utilizing FTTP instead of Copper to the premises. Then, instead of upgrading those that are already on >30Mbit broadband, they should focus efforts on bringing the ‘third class citizens’ with <10 Mbit, followed by the <30Mbit locations in line with the 'past-proofed' 10Mbit USO first.

    3. Avatar Meadmodj says:

      “too late”. I am not so sure. Yes BT has made some bad business decisions but it was the Government and their agent Ofcom that created the environment within which those decisions were made. The delay in the last few years has been the dribble of public subsidy causing BT to see if there are any crumbs on offer before proceeding with investment. Proceeding with FTTP with enforced wholesale to other ISPs probably would not have made sense from an investment perspective or consumer demand at the time. FTTC gave the politicians what they wanted, numbers. However now with the cost of fibre falling its all systems go from OR, VM and the others. All we need is for Ofcom not to interfere and keep the FTTP investment momentum growing.

  4. Avatar Jose Hernandez says:

    That is good for the ones who get superfast broadband, at this moment i’m only getting 64 kbps.

  5. Avatar Roger Duke says:

    Blair Athol does not even have a decent Cell phone coverage 2 bands on a Good Day. The Local Tel Exchange has Fibre Optic cables In but none of the Premises have Fibre Optic cabling. It is counted as having the New Broad band High Speed but no one gets it. Open Reach and BT are Rip off Merchants.

    1. Avatar Gadget says:

      Well according to the Openreach Checker the post office in Blair Athol is connected to Cab2 which is currently enabled so I’m not sure why you believe no one gets it?

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