More than 1.5 million families and firms in Scotland can now get superfast broadband from BT’s network.
Thanks to investment from BT’s own £2.5 billion commercial plan and the two Scottish BDUK plans – Digital Scotland and Highlands & Islands – more than 4,700 roadside cabinets have been set up.
Superfast broadband – mainly FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet)-based services – are now available to 173,000 premises in Glasgow, 152,000 in Edinburgh, 98,000 in Aberdeen, 56,000 in Dundee and 26,000 in Inverness.
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “BT has been a driving force in transforming Scotland’s broadband landscape, passing another 10,000 households with the technology every week last year. We’ve recruited hundreds of extra engineers and invested hundreds of millions of pounds through our own commercial fibre broadband programme and the Digital Scotland partnership.”
By the end of 2015, 85 per cent of Scottish premises should be able to order superfast broadband from BT or any of the ISPs that use the Openreach network. By 2018, coverage should have crept up to 95 per cent.
The final five per cent are set to get superfast delivered by a mixture of differnet technologies.
Ambitious projects such as the Highlands & Islands venture is seeing some of the most remote Scottish communities able to get superfast services. By the end of the Digital Scotland and Highlands & Islands projects, over 750,000 premises should be able to get superfast services. So far, roughly 200,000 locations have been passed by these two private-public partnerships.
The Scottish Government’s deputy First Minister John Swinney added: “The scale of delivering fibre broadband across our communities in Scotland shouldn’t be underestimated and this announcement shows how hard engineers are working.
“We are still in the early stages of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, and without it thousands of Scottish homes and businesses simply wouldn’t have had access to high-speed technology.
In Glasgow and Aberdeen, pure fibre ISPs Hyperoptic and CityFibre are getting on with connecting customers to 1,000Mbps FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) broadband.
While BT is mainly making slower FTTC lines available, it recently revealed that FTTP services are on a future roadmap, alongside G.fast-based services which promises download speeds of around 500-700Mbps.