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Scottish superfast broadband rollout reaches milestone

Friday, February 27th 2015 by Dean Reilly

Over 1.5 million Scottish households and businesses can now connect to high-speed fibre broadband, BT has announced.

Engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network business, laid 4,500Km or 2800 miles of fibre cable, and installed more than 4,700 roadside green cabinets to reach the milestone figure.

Large numbers of the 1.5m premises are found in major cities across Scotland, including 173,000 in Glasgow; 152,000 in Edinburgh, 98,000 in Aberdeen, 56,000 in Dundee and 26,000 in Inverness.

The Scottish Government’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “The fact that over 1.5m people now have access to fibre broadband is another positive piece of news.

"The scale of delivering fibre broadband across our communities in Scotland shouldn’t be underestimated and this announcement shows how hard engineers are working.

“We are still in the early stages of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, and without it thousands of Scottish homes and businesses simply wouldn’t have had access to high-speed technology.”

UK Government Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey welcomed the news, saying he was delighted that 1.5m homes and businesses have access to reliable broadband.

He added: “The UK government is investing £100 million in superfast broadband for Scotland and our rollout has already reached more than 200,000 properties that the commercial rollout would not have covered."

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme intends to provide fibre broadband infrastructure to Scotland locations that were not included in commercial providers’ investment plans.

The programme consists of two projects – one led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and second covering the rest of Scotland.

BT confirmed that, when combined with existing commercial roll-out plans, 85% of premises in Scotland should have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2015/16.

The company concluded that 95% of Scotland should have fibre access by the end of 2017/18.

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