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Scottish minister launches fibre broadband awareness campaign

Tuesday, May 15th 2018 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Scotland’s rural affairs and connectivity minister has kicked off a new campaign aimed at encouraging people to sign up to fibre broadband.

Fibre is now available to 95% of Scottish premises and work is currently underway to connect those living in the most remote parts of the country – but in order to benefit you need to actively upgrade your broadband service, it won’t happen automatically.

The ‘Up Your Street’ campaign, launched yesterday by Fergus Ewing MSP, will help raise awareness of superfast availability and will see a Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) branded ad van go on a month-long tour, visiting places including Aberfeldy, Colinsburgh, Jedburgh, Banchory and Lockerbie.

The DSSB programme is delivered by the Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its area and by the Scottish Government across the rest of Scotland. It is also part-funded by these two organisations alongside the UK government, BT, local authorities and the EU.

'Life in the fast lane'

So far, fibre broadband has been made available to more than 890,000 properties across Scotland, with commercial rollouts accounting for the rest of the 95% that can access superfast services.

“But the Scottish Government isn’t stopping there,” said Mr Ewing. “I am acutely aware that there are still those that have not benefited from the current programme and that is why we are extending superfast broadband access to every home and business in Scotland by the end of 2021 – the only part of the UK to do so.”

New funding generated by better-than-expected take-up has allowed the DSSB programme to continue even after achieving its initial goals. New deployments will take place in every local authority area over the next three years.

Robert Thorburn, fibre broadband partnership director for Openreach in Scotland, said: “Across the country more than 95% of premises can now order a fibre broadband service, and strong take-up has already helped generate more funds to invest back into the network.

“I’d urge all residents and businesses to touch base with their service providers to make sure they’re getting the fastest service available. Once you’ve switched to life in the fast lane, there is no going back.”

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