A further 145,000 homes and business in Scotland will be able to start accessing superfast broadband services from the autumn, as part of the next stage of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband rollout.
Some 3,400km of fibre has been laid across Scotland so far as part of the £410m Digital Scotland project, hooking up some 275,000 homes and businesses.
The work has been carried out by BT Openreach, and has included running 250km of undersea cables between several Scottish islands.
BT and Digital Scotland have now announced plans for another 200 locations to come online, including Braemar in Aberdeenshire, Portpatrick in Dumfries and Galloway, and Voe in the Shetland Islands.
Communities in Edinburgh and West Lothian, North Ayrshire and the Falkirk area will also be provided with fibre broadband for the first time.
This will provide services with speeds of up to 80Mbps download and 20Mbps upload. A full list of locations that will be served in the next rollout is available from Digital Scotland.
Sara Budge, programme director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, explained that it is testament to the success of the project that just one year on from the first deployment of fibre services across Scotland, another major element of the project is beginning.
“By reaching out to those who would not have been covered through the commercial market – in towns and in some of our most rural areas – we are ensuring that the connections which are made will bring many benefits to the Scottish people at home and in business,” she added.
Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, was also upbeat on the latest chapter in its work and thanked BT staff who helped one of its hardest rollouts to go so smoothly.
“The rollout of fibre broadband across Scotland is one of the biggest and most complex civil engineering projects taking place in the UK today and we’re proud to be at the heart of it,” he said.
Despite the positive tone, Dick did add that the complexities of rollouts and the factors that can affect work, such as extreme weather, mean that communities being promised switch on dates should be aware that these could be delayed.
The work is just one aspect of BT Openreach’s rollout of services across the UK. Other remote locations, such as the Isles of Scilly, are also coming online with fibre services for the first time.