Digital Scotland has named the next areas due to benefit from BT’s superfast fibre-based broadband.
The work will see over 90,000 homes and businesses in 18 local authority areas able to order superfast broadband.
The £410 million Digital Scotland plan has already connected 55,000 premises and plans to connect quarter of a million homes and business premises with this next phase.
The next stage of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme will bring fibre to communities including Macduff, Glamis, Kirkwall, Annan, Kinglassie and Portmahomack for the first time.
Other areas will see additional premises connected as a result of building upon their existing, or planned, fibre broadband footprint.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Today marks another important milestone for the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership. The scale of the challenge of delivering fibre broadband across Scotland is greater than any other part of the UK and indeed, much of Europe.
“It’s fantastic news that more communities and businesses around the country will soon begin to see the benefits of high quality digital connectivity, making them more economically viable in the long term.”
The announcement comes days after the Scottish Government unveiled plans for broadband for all in an independent Scotland.
BT has been tasked with installing hundreds of kilometers of fibre backbone across some pretty unforgiving terrain in order to connect some of the most remote communities in Scotland. By the end of 2015, 85 per cent of Scottish premises should be connected to superfast broadband, which is due to increase to 95 per cent by 2018.
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director said: “We’re really proud of our role at the heart of Scotland, delivering critical infrastructure which helps the nation to compete on a world stage. We could only reach the parts of Scotland that lay beyond commercial deployment by working with others, and I find it really heartening that so many of our smaller communities now stand to benefit.”
“Our ongoing deployment of fibre across the country is one of the biggest civil engineering projects happening in Scotland today and will be to the advantage of generations to come.”
The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband initiative consists of two projects – one covering the Highlands and Islands area and the other covering the rest of Scotland. The first cabinets went live in March and April of this year in Buckie and Kirkton of Skene, Aberdeenshire.
BT is investing £126 million with additional funding from the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the UK Government, local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund.
In both cases the work is being undertaken by BT, which is deploying over 800 kilometers of fibre optic backbone, including 19 undersea cable connections, to bring superfast broadband to the most remote regions.
The majority places will be able to get FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet), which currently provides top speeds of 80Mbps.
Trials of G.fast technology could see these speeds extended in some areas. Some locations in Scotland will benefit from FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) connections which currently provide speeds of up to 330Mbps.