Broadband: High speed fibre connection reaches 99% of Fife homes

Fife's state-funded rollout of broadband has helped to provide high-speed fibre connections to 99.3% of the Kingdom's homes.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 12:30 pm

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) scheme has connected a total of 61,203 households to fibre broadband using more than 400 miles of fibre optic cable.

DSSB was established by the Scottish Government to provide high-speed fibre internet infrastructure to homes that would have otherwise been bypassed by private internet firms continuing to rely on copper phone lines.

The government estimates that almost three in 10 households would be without access to fibre without the scheme.

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The project has been rolled out across Fife

The mass broadband rollout is also far from over. Ministers have committed £600m to the Reaching 100% programme, known as R100, which will use mobile and satellite connections to provide superfast web access to 100% of the population by the end of this year.

Gordon Mole, head of business and employability at Fife Council, said the rollout of high-speed internet for more of Fife would do more to support people working from home and those running businesses remotely.

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"The programme has enabled premises to access higher broadband speeds and will continue through the Reaching 100% programme," he said.

Councillors were briefed on the outcome of the DSSB programme last week. The council had a financial stake in it, having agreed to contribute £2.8 million alongside the Scottish Government's £30.6m, sourced from Openreach (then owned by BT).

Of those households, 57,815 have access to "superfast" connections with speeds of at least 24 megabits per second (Mbps). Rural premises were connected to the high-speed network via newly dug direct fibre connections, known as fibre to the premises, instead of being connected via a street cabinet.

But while 99.7% of households have access to a fibre broadband connection, 0.3% do not - roughly 5,000 households across the Kingdom, predominantly in rural areas in north east Fife, north of Dunfermline and between Markinch and Kennoway.

Conservative West Fife and villages councillor Mino Manekshaw asked for more information on how these households will be reached.

"A solution must be found for those deemed difficult to reach or not commercially viable, scattered in rural areas," he said.

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