More rural communities across Dumfries and Galloway are now able to connect to high-speed fibre thanks to the £428M Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband roll-out.
Thousands of households and businesses in towns and villages including Ardwell, Bankshill, Boreland, Clarebrand, Glencaple, Kirkpatrick Durham, Leadhills and Portpatrick are now able to receive fibre broadband for the first time, while more homes and businesses have access in several other places. Full details are below.
Local people need to sign up for the new, faster services with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.
Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable broadband connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps* and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from.
More than 750,000 premises across the country can now connect to their fastest-ever broadband speeds through the Digital Scotland roll-out, with around 77,000 premises reached by the project in the last six month period.
Many of the latest local connections to be upgraded were previously ‘Exchange Only’ (EO) lines, a historic legacy of the copper network once thought to be out of the reach of high-speed fibre services. Such lines run directly from the exchange to homes and business premises, bypassing the usual road-side cabinets which are a vital part of the fibre roll-out.
Engineers worked out an innovative way to integrate these lines into the fibre network, laying hundreds of metres of new cables to reroute lines through extra road-side cabinets.
Whether you own a business, work from home or want to keep in touch with friends and family, fibre broadband enables multiple users to connect to the internet at high speeds and get better, faster access to online services.
The programme is delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland. Other funding partners include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), BT, local authorities and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund.
BT is investing £126M, and the total project value includes around £18 million which is being reinvested back in to the programme as a result of stronger than expected early take-up.
Across the country around 3,600 new fibre street cabinets are now live and more than 8,700km of cable has been laid by engineers from Openreach, the UK’s leading digital infrastructure provider – enough to stretch all the way from Glasgow to Philadelphia.
Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing, said: “More than 90% of Scotland now has fibre broadband available thanks to both the programme and commercial coverage. The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme is progressing further and we are starting to reach very small and more remote communities like Kirtlebridge and Southerness.
“The Scottish Government is committed to delivering 100% superfast broadband access across Scotland by 2021 and plans are currently being developed to ensure that this is the case. During the summer months our existing programme will continue to advance across the country, bringing high speed broadband to new rural communities.”
Robert Thorburn, BT Scotland’s Fibre Broadband Director, said: “The Digital Scotland fibre rollout has continued to make good progress over the last six months. Thanks to engineering innovation, thousands of people on lines once thought to be incapable of carrying a superfast service are now able to upgrade to higher speeds.
“And with strong take-up rates set to drive the reinvestment of millions of pounds back into the network, we look forward to continuing work on this huge and challenging infrastructure project to benefit the people of Scotland.”
The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme underpins the Scottish Government’s aim for Scotland to become a world class digital nation by 2020. Local people can check the Digital Scotland website to find out if they can get a fibre-based service.