Fibre broadband reach expands

Another 26,000 premises across the country can now get fibre broadband through the �428 million Digital Scotland programme.
Another 26,000 premises across the country can now get fibre broadband through the �428 million Digital Scotland programme.

A new list of Berwickshire places with access to high-speed fibre broadband has been announced this week as another 26,000 premises are connected.

More than 870,000 premises are now able to connect to the new network through the £428 million Digital Scotland programme, including residents in Grantshouse, Ninewells Mains, Coldingham and St Abbs.

But be warned - just because high speed fibre broadband may be available to some premises in these areas, there’s no guarantee it will be available to all.

The Digital Scotland team explain: “Due to the current network topography and the economics of deployment, it is likely that not all premises within selected areas will be able to access fibre-based broadband at the same point in the roll-out.”

Broadband speed will also depend on how far away you are from the fibre network cabinet - the further away you are the slower the speed is likely to be.

Borders MP John Lamont wants to see other solutions such as fixed wireless technology for the harder to reach premises being given financial support too.

The Scottish Government is promoting its high-speed broadband project, and Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Once again it is very positive news knowing that more premises than ever before now have fibre broadband available to them.

“However, these upgrades are not automatic. I would encourage more people to check whether they are eligible on the DSSB website and contact a service provider of their choice to start receiving faster broadband.

“I am not complacent – I am aware that those who do not have access are at a disadvantage and our job is not done until everyone is connected. We are now focusing on the next steps to achieve 100 per cent coverage by 2021.”

Robert Thorburn, Openreach digital partnership director for Scotland, said: “The Digital Scotland rollout across our nation is a huge success story, especially given the significant extra work and unique challenges posed by our vast geography.

“At the start of the Digital Scotland project we said we’d reach an additional 750,000 premises on top of our commercial investments, and we’ve gone well beyond this.

“More than 2.5 million Scottish households and businesses now have access to high speed broadband over the Openreach digital network.

“Of course there’s more to do and our engineers are keeping up the pace to reach even more remote and rural communities during 2018.”

Each week the programme, one of the largest broadband infrastructure projects in Europe, reaches more remote and rural areas. Across the country around 4,355 new fibre street cabinets are now live and more than 10,000km of cable has been laid by engineers from Openreach, Scotland’s digital network business offering speeds of up to 80Mbps - although these are the top wholesale speeds available over Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology from Openreach to all service providers and speeds offered by other service providers may vary.

Local people in areas recently connected to the fibre broadband network need to sign up for the new, faster services with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.