|Some of the last broadband connections to go live in the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme have been unveiled on the outskirts of Kirkholm in Dumfries and Galloway by Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minster for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands.
Across the region more than 58,300 homes and business can now upgrade to faster fibre broadband through the £463 million DSSB rollout.
They’re among more than 950,000 premises across Scotland now passed by the programme – and in total 5,078 new fibre street cabinets are now and enough cable laid to stretch all the way to the South Pole..
Kirkholm’s latest broadband upgrade was only possible after engineers from Openreach, who have delivered the network on the ground, installed a remote fibre node to serve outlying properties on the road to Portencalzie. Instead of taking fibre optic cable to a local street cabinet, the fibre runs all the way to a remote node located underground. The node acts like a mini street cabinet to provide superfast broadband at speeds of up to 80Mbps.
Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, said: “It is particularly pleasing to see that these final few premises in Kirkholm, deep in rural Dumfries and Galloway, can now get reliable, fast broadband thanks to the DSSB programme.
“The difference 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. More than 65 per cent of properties reached by the programme have now switched to faster fibre broadband.”
Fibre technology 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.
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 Building Digital UK (BDUK), BT Group, local authorities and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund, with Openreach leading the build on the ground.
Andrew Hepburn, Fibre Infrastructure Build Director at Openreach said: “It’s great to be here in Kirkholm as we near the end of a massive, seven-year civil engineering journey that’s seen our engineers bring better broadband to thousands of communities from Shetland to Gretna Green. Good connectivity has the power to revitalise our rural areas.
“There have been many highlights along the way and engineers have overcome numerous challenges to reach as many people as possible. Now we’re ready to get cracking on the next stage – as the Scottish Government’s R100 programme brings gigabit-capable full fibre to thousands of Dumfries and Galloway’s hardest-to-reach homes.”
Sara Budge, Programme Director of DSSB said; “A lot has happened since our first cab went live in April 2014, but our appetite for fibre broadband hasn’t diminished. The DSSB programme has helped to ensure that over 94.3% of homes and businesses across Scotland have access to fibre broadband and Kirkholm is one of the last cabs to help connect even more homes. People can check their postcode at www.scotlandsuperfast.com.”