Openreach ultrafast broadband boost for Scotland
March 15, 2023
By Colin Mann
More than 800,000 homes and businesses across Scotland can now connect to some of the fastest, most reliable broadband in Europe, with hundreds of thousands more in line for an ultrafast upgrade this year.
Engineers from digital infrastructure provider Openreach will extend its ultrafast full fibre network in urban areas such as Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Stirling and Glasgow and rural parts of regions including Fife, East Lothian, Highland, Aberdeenshire and Dumfries and Galloway during 2023.
The company has invested around £240 million in its new network across Scotland so far. It’s also working with the Scottish and UK Governments to bring the technology to the hardest-to-reach properties, through funded programmes such as Reaching 100, and voucher schemes launched by both governments.
Around 30 per cent of Scottish households and businesses have moved over to the new network in the areas where it’s available, meaning a further 70 per cent (560,000 homes) who could upgrade are currently missing out.
Scots use around 100 million Gigabytes of data every week on Openreach’s national network – equivalent to 90 million hours of video calls, 87 million hours of live streaming or watching 38 million full HD movies.
Scottish Government Business Minister Ivan McKee said: “The progress of Openreach’s full fibre rollout is welcome. This is a vital part of our national infrastructure, helping people to work remotely and helping support a greener society.”
“Our Digital Strategy for Scotland sets out the importance of digital connectivity to homes and businesses across the country. This welcome investment from Openreach, who are a signatory of Scotland’s Full Fibre Charter, supports our commitment to ensure that everyone in Scotland can access at least a superfast broadband connection.”
Katie Milligan, Openreach chief commercial officer and chair of its Scotland Board, said: “Full fibre is the best way to provide ultrafast, ultra-reliable Internet to millions of Scots. Around a third of the 800,000 homes and businesses now reached by our new Scottish fibre network are rural. We’re connecting parts of the nation other networks don’t reach, bringing an economic boost and backing rural communities.”
“Our superfast broadband is already available to most people in Scotland, but ultrafast full fibre is the future. It gives businesses, families and home-workers all the data they’ll ever need and provides the ultimate online experience at great value for money.”
In addition to Openreach’s own full fibre build across Scotland – which is part of a £15 billion UK-wide investment – the network provider is delivering the Scottish Government’s Reaching 100% contracts to upgrade more than 114,000 of the nation’s hardest-to-reach homes.