Scottish full fibre delivery boosted with new appointments

Jenni Macfarlane watches Dundee engineer Stewart Heenan at work on the broadband network.

OPENREACH, the leading digital network business in Scotland, has appointed a new Service Delivery director.

Jenni Macfarlane will lead a field force of around 1,200 engineers whose role is to keep people connected across the whole of Scotland, on behalf of more than 600 providers who use Openreach’s network to provide services to their customers. Jenni also joins the Openreach Scotland board chaired by Katie Milligan.

Openreach operates Scotland’s largest broadband network, used by customers of companies like BT, Sky, TalkTalk, EE, Vodafone and Zen.

The appointment comes as Fraser Rowberry, the previous Service Delivery director, becomes Chief Engineer for Scotland, leading Openreach’s build of rural broadband to more than 200 towns and villages across Scotland. He will also oversee delivery of the company’s Reaching 100% (R100) contracts with the Scottish Government to bring fast broadband to more than 100,000 of the nation’s most difficult-to-reach properties.

Jenni Macfarlane, from Dundee, said: “I am extremely proud to be appointed as the director for service delivery in Scotland. It is such an exciting time to lead an industry-leading team through our ongoing transition to full fibre broadband. We have big ambitions that also come with big challenges and I am looking forward to guiding our Scottish team on this journey, continuing to deliver a world-class customer experience across the board.

“I will work to champion a diverse and inclusive environment where everyone can thrive and contribute to a bright future for both Openreach and our customers in Scotland.”

Fraser Rowberry, from Musselburgh, East Lothian, said: “I look forward to getting stuck into my new role as Chief Engineer for Scotland. While I’m under no illusions about the scale of our ongoing delivery task, I also know it represents a huge opportunity to secure Scotland’s digital future. Better rural broadband brings myriad benefits to communities across the nation, and I’m constantly inspired by examples of our skilled engineers going above and beyond to deliver transformative full fibre in some of the hardest-to-reach locations imaginable.”

Katie Milligan said: “These new appointments strengthen our fantastic team who work tirelessly to keep people connected across Scotland, opening up new opportunities and ultimately building community wealth. Both Jenni and Fraser bring with them considerable experience and expertise as we continue our important work to roll out full fibre across the nation.”

Jenni is a former pupil of Craigie High School. She previously led a 250+ strong workforce of engineers across the North of Scotland. Fraser went to Musselburgh Grammar School before starting out as an apprentice engineer. He has held a series of senior management roles with Openreach and also sits on the company’s Scotland Board.

Openreach’s £15bn fibre investment aims to reach 25 million premises by December 2026, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts of the country defined by industry regulator Ofcom. More than 7.2m homes and business can already order a service over the new network, including 620,000 across Scotland so far. One in four of the Scottish homes and businesses now passed by the new network has upgraded.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) estimates that connecting everyone in Scotland to full fibre would create a £4.5 billion boost to the economy. You can find out more about the Full Fibre build programme, latest availability and local plans here.

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