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Digital Scotland rolls out fibre broadband to Motherwell and Moray

Thursday, September 3rd 2015 by Ellen Branagh

The superfast broadband rollout in Scotland has reached more than 1,100 properties in Motherwell.

Fibre broadband has also been made available to more than 12,500 premises across North Lanarkshire, as part of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

The progress of the rollout in the area builds on BT’s commercial rollout in Motherwell, which passes 14,800 local homes and businesses.

The latest premises are among more than 394,000 across Scotland which can access fibre broadband at speeds of up to 80Mbps as part of the £410m Digital Scotland rollout.

North Lanarkshire Council regeneration convener David Fagan said: “The availability of superfast broadband is an absolute essential for businesses and domestic users.

“Many urban centres have enjoyed the benefits of fibre connections and now it is being rolled out to some of the smaller, more difficult to reach communities across our area, helped in part by a £700,000 grant from the council.

“Given the scope of North Lanarkshire businesses’ customers – local, national, and international – reliable high-speed communication is vital.”

Sara Budge, programme director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s great news that many residents and businesses in and around Motherwell are now able to receive fibre broadband thanks to the programme, with more coverage to follow.

“The difference a high-speed connection can make is amazing, giving much more flexibility at work or in the home.”

BT is investing £126m in the Digital Scotland programme, in addition to its commercial rollout of fibre broadband in Scotland.

The announcement coincided with an update on the rollout of fibre in the Scottish highlands and islands, with more than three quarters of homes and businesses in Moray now having access to superfast broadband.

'Improving lives'

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) project is investing £146m to extend access to fibre services to areas across the Highlands and Islands which could not be reached by the commercial market.

The project is led by Highlands and Island Enterprise (HIE) and funded by the Scottish and UK governments, HIE itself and private sector partners BT.

In Moray the DSSB project has now made fibre available to almost 24,000 premises across 18 towns and villages including: Aberlour, Buckie, Cullen, Dufftown, Keith, Lossiemouth and Longmorn.

Added to commercial services in Forres and Elgin this now equates to 75% of premises, with at least nine out of 10 Moray premises expected to have access by the end of 2016.

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said: “The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring we have first-rate digital infrastructure by 2020, and whilst there is still work to be done, it is great news that 75% of premises in Moray now have access to the superfast broadband network benefitting thousands of homes and businesses.“

BT’s programme manager for the region Robert Thorburn added: “Today marks another significant and exciting milestone for Moray.

“We continue to amass a growing body of evidence supported by independent research, highlighting the real benefits that superfast broadband brings to homes and businesses.

“The rollout in Moray and wider across the Highlands and Islands is now connecting communities big and small, transforming local economies and improving lives, which will make a lasting difference.”

Pictured unwrapping one of the new Motherwell street cabinets are (left to right) David Fagan, North Lanarkshire Council regeneration convener; Chris Wond, economic development officer for North Lanarkshire Council; Brenda Conway, community officer for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband; Mark Dames, head of policy for BT Scotland; and John Darley, Digital Scotland communications.

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