More households and businesses across Dumfries and Galloway can now upgrade to faster fibre broadband through the £460 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) rollout.
Across Scotland, thanks to the programme, more than 940,000 premises are now able to connect to the new network.
It’s the first time the programme has brought fibre broadband to Sandhead, Mochrum, Mouswald and Newbridge.
Many of the latest premises to be reached – in places like Annan, Dumfries, Kirkbean and Bentpath – are connected to a full fibre network. Also known as Fibre-to-the-Premises or FTTP, the technology provides ultrafast1 broadband directly into local homes.
More fibre cabinets also now live in communities including Moffat, Collin and Kirtlebridge. A full list of all local areas to receive the latest deployment is at the end of the release.
They are among more than 58,000 homes and businesses across Dumfries and Galloway which are now able to connect to the Digital Scotland network as engineers from Openreach continue work on the ground during 2019/20.
Across the country more than 5,000 new fibre street cabinets are now live – offering broadband services at speeds up to 80Mbps1 – and more than 13,700km of cable has been laid, equal to the length of around 25 per cent of all the roads in Scotland.
Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable connections at a range of speeds1 and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from. Local people can check if the new fibre services are available to them at www.scotlandsuperfast.com/yourstreet.
Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, said: “More and more people are now able to sign up to fibre broadband thanks to the £460 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, and it is particularly pleasing to see this in rural areas and rural market towns such as Sandhead.
“The difference that having fibre broadband can make to businesses or to improving the range of services available in the home is amazing. I’d urge everyone to take advantage of the faster speeds now available. There’s lots of competition out there and people may find they could be surfing at much higher speeds at a similar cost to their current service, but the key is for customers to contact one or more service providers to explore the options available to them, as upgrades to customers’ broadband packages are not automatic.”
Research has suggested that every £ 1 in public investment in fibre broadband in Scotland is delivering almost £12 of benefits to the Scottish economy. The independent report commissioned by DSSB and undertaken by consultants Analysys Mason estimates the total benefit from investment as £2.76 billion over 15 years.
Delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland – funding partners also include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), BT Group, local authorities and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund, with Openreach leading the build on the ground.
Robert Thorburn, Partnership Director for Openreach in Scotland, said: “The Digital Scotland rollout is still reaching new communities and bringing better broadband to rural residents, families and businesses.
“Better connectivity right across Scotland means digital progress on every level – from pupils doing homework and communities tapping into the tourist trade online to virtual assistants like Alexa helping vulnerable people to live more independent lives.
“Our focus in Dumfries and Galloway for the final few months of the project will be building small, full fibre networks capable of gigabit speeds in harder-to-reach places.”
Thanks to additional investment as a result of innovation and new funding generated by stronger than expected take-up, the rollout will continue in every local authority area during 2019 and into 2020, complementing ongoing commercial build across Scotland. More than 50 per cent of properties reached by the programme have switched to fibre broadband.