More premises across Fife can now upgrade to faster fibre broadband through the £428 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband rollout.
Thanks to the programme, more than 890,000 premises are able to connect to the new network, with more coverage now live across the Kingdom in places including Crail, Gauldry, Kirkcaldy, Cardenden, Anstruther and Newburgh.
Each week the programme, one of the largest broadband infrastructure projects in Europe, reaches more remote and rural areas.
Across the country nearly 4,500 new fibre street cabinets are now live and more than 11,000km of cable has been laid by engineers from Openreach, Scotland’s digital network business. Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable broadband connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps1 and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from.
Local people need to sign up for the new, faster services with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.
Delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland – funding partners also include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), BT Group, local authorities and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund.
Thanks to additional investment as a result of innovation and new funding generated by stronger than expected take-up, the programme will deliver new DSSB deployment in every local authority area during 2018 and beyond, complementing ongoing commercial build across Scotland.
As part of the local rollout in Fife some ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology is being deployed. FTTP sees fibre connected directly from the exchange to the premise and is capable of carrying speeds of up to 1Gbps2. FTTP is being deployed by the programme in only a handful of areas where it is the best technical solution for the area.
Fergus Ewing, Rural Economy Secretary, said: “I am pleased to see that more premises than ever before now have superfast broadband available to them. “I would encourage more people to check whether they are eligible to upgrade on the DSSB website and contact a service provider of their choice to start receiving faster broadband.
“However, I am not complacent – I am aware that those who do not have access are at a disadvantage and our job is not done until everyone is connected. We are now focusing on the next steps to achieve 100 per cent access to superfast broadband – the only commitment of its kind in the UK.”
Cllr Altany Craik, Fife Council’s convener of Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee, said: “I am delighted that more areas across Fife can now access fibre broadband thanks to the programme and more people are now able to get a superfast speed. Whether you are downloading a box set, a small business making transactions or just keeping in touch with friends, fibre broadband can make it all happen easily.”
Robert Thorburn, Fibre Broadband director for Openreach in Scotland, said: “As the rollout nears its end stages, we’re really digging into some harder-to-reach communities and places where the engineering challenges are more significant.
“Many of these latest lines have been converted from a format once thought incompatible with high-speed fibre broadband, and we’re increasingly using ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) to deliver the network directly into individual dwellings, with some properties in places like Letham, Buckhaven, Luthrie, Strathmiglo and Newport-on-Tay among those to benefit.
“It’s really a privilege for all of us at Openreach to be able to play such an important part in the life of local communities. We know there’s always more to do and we are up for the challenge.”