Scotland officially announces that Fibre Broadband coverage reaches 95%

Tuesday, April 17th 2018

The Scottish government has announced that their broadband coverage has reached a milestone 95% of premises in Scotland. The definition of fibre broadband access includes homes and businesses connected to a VDSL 2 cabinet at any speed. However, the figure drops to 92.7% when considering superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps+ for coverage.

Thanks to the Digital Scotland (DSSB) project with BT Openreach, this target has been achieved. The £428 million project has been deploying a mix of Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC/VDSL2) lines, capable of up to 80Mbps and a few areas with Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology. On the other hand, Virgin Media and other providers have been separately rolling out commercial deployments across the country.

It may be recollected that the DSSB project was split into two halves region-wise, 'The Highlands and Islands' and 'The Rest of Scotland'. The project's coverage target actually dropped for the Highlands and Islands rural region alone to 86%. The project's £428 million total has £280 million as public funding.

The DSSB project has reached over 890,000 premises, claims the Scottish government. Thanks to various extension contracts and arrangements, the programme will continue in 2018 with further deployments. Openreach engineers have so far place around 4,400 new FTTC street-cabinets now live and laid over 9,700km of cable, including undersea cabling for 400km.

Over and above, the Scottish government are now running their R100 programme, worth £600 million, which aims to make available to every single premise in Scotland, a 30Mbps+ capable network by 2021 end. It must be noted that faster connectivity is not automatically upgraded and it has to be actually ordered from an ISP in order to receive the service.

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