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.
Openreach engineers will extend its ultrafast full fibre network in urban areas like 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 million1 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 like Reaching 100% and voucher schemes launched by both governments.
Full fibre is up to 10 times faster than the average home broadband connection and around five times more reliable than the old copper-based network it’s replacing. 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.”
The Openreach network offers the widest choice of providers, such as BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen. Upgrades aren’t automatic but once people place an order with their provider engineers will do the rest. People can check their options at www.openreach.com.
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.
Research from the Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr) shows that connecting everyone in Scotland to full fibre broadband would create a £4.5 billion boost to the economy and support thousands of people to return to the workforce.
This short video explains what full fibre technology is and you can find out more about Openreach’s Fibre First build here.