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Scotland's fibre broadband rollout to reach 20,000 more homes

Wednesday, October 28th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

The next stage of Scotland’s superfast broadband rollout will reach a further 20,000 homes and businesses as it expands into more rural areas.

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme has passed more than 455,000 premises since it started last year.

It is more than halfway to its target of connecting 750,000 properties by the end of March 2018.

The areas set to benefit in the next phase of the rollout include Cairnie in Aberdeenshire, Aberfoyle in Stirling and Turnberry in South Ayrshire, with the first connections expected to ‘go live’ by the spring.

Scotland's Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “We are now into the second year of the £410m DSSB programme and progress continues apace.

“The rollout of high-speed broadband has now reached 455,000 homes and business, with on average 7,000 more able to connect each week.

“Many of these were once thought to be out of reach because they’re linked directly to telephone exchanges, or are located in more rural locations.”

One such business is VivID, a graphic design consultancy based in St Boswells in the Scottish Borders.

Owner Vivienne Seeley (pictured) said fibre broadband has made it much easier to run a business from home.

“The internet connection would often crash and I would need to start again, which was really frustrating," she said.

"Now, files are sent instantly. I just don’t have to think about the technology anymore, I can get on with my business.

“With fibre, we can all get on with what we want to do. The icing on the cake is that the fibre connection is costing less than our previous slow broadband connection.

'Motivating'

“We used to pay around £17 a month and now we just pay £10. It’s brilliant.”

Mr Swinney added: “It is really motivating to see stories such as VivID’s from St Boswells who have benefited from fibre broadband thanks to the DSSB programme.

“Areas going to benefit from access to high speed broadband for the first time in the coming months include towns like Linlithgow and smaller villages such as Bridge of Dun.

“The Scottish Government is committed to delivering first-rate connectivity in Scotland by 2020, ensuring we are a world class digital nation.”

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “From this point on, our rollout becomes increasingly challenging.

“We’d like communities to be aware this means our plans may sometimes have to change, but we’ll continue to work hard to maintain the great progress to date and bring fast fibre to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.”

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