Work starts to improve broadband access in rural Scotland

Tens of thousands of rural and island homes and businesses in Scotland are set to access faster and more reliable broadband, as work starts to extend superfast broadband to rural communities in Scotland.

The Scottish government is investing £384m through the Reaching 100% programme (R100), which will see the building of full fibre connections begin in September around Oban, Argyll and Bute, and Portlethen and Newtonhill.

The R100 North contract will deliver full fibre broadband capable of one gigabit per second download speeds, with more than 220km of subsea cables to be installed to ensure 15 Scottish islands are connected to fast broadband.

green mountain under cloudy sky

Economy secretary, Kate Forbes, said: ‘Accessing fast and reliable broadband has never been so important and for our more rural communities that is becoming increasingly vital. That is why the Scottish Government is making substantial investments in digital infrastructure to ensure all of Scotland has equal access to high-speed internet.

‘The Reaching 100% programme is going significantly beyond our original commitment to provide superfast broadband and will now deliver the UK’s fastest and most reliable broadband for many businesses and homes.’

Chair of Scotland’s Openreach board, Katie Milligan, added: ‘As delivery partner, we’re designing a network that maxes full fibre for the North of Scotland. We are pleased to have worked so closely with the Scottish Government to ensure homes and businesses will make the move straight to the UK’s fastest, most reliable gigabit-capable broadband.

‘The arrival of ultrafast broadband will be a game-changer, placing rural residents and remote islanders firmly in the internet fast lane. They will see a huge difference for life and work generally, but future-proof connectivity will also boost fragile rural economies and address sustainability issues like depopulation.’

In related news, fibre broadband cables could be fed through the country’s water pipes as part of the government’s plan to speed up the nationwide roll out of lightning-fast broadband and mobile coverage in rural areas.

Photo by Robert Haverly


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