BT Announces Major Super-fast Broadband Boost for Scotland

34 new exchange areas included in major expansion of BT’s £2.5 billion super-fast fibre broadband programme – news welcomed by Scottish Government and local councils

More than 277,000 homes and businesses are poised to benefit from super-fast broadband as part of BT’s biggest ever fibre announcement for Scotland, being made today.

The latest places included in the company’s £2.5 billion UK roll-out of fibre broadband include four exchange areas in Aberdeen, seven in Edinburgh, six in Glasgow and two in Dundee, as well as towns such as Alloa, Arbroath, Greenock and Kirkcaldy. A full list of locations is at the end of this news release.

It will take the number of Scottish homes and businesses being passed by the new super-fast network soaring past the half million milestone to more than 685,500. The latest upgrades are due to be completed during 2012.

BT’s local network business Openreach is driving forward plans to make super-fast fibre broadband available to two-thirds of UK homes and businesses by the end of 2014*. The innovative network features a mix of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP) technologies. Speeds are vastly superior to those previously available to many UK homes and businesses.

FTTC, delivered to street cabinets, currently offers download speeds of up to 40Mbps with 10Mbps upstream. Openreach has said it will roughly double these speeds next year. FTTP, where the fibre goes directly to homes and businesses, offers speeds of up to 100Mbps, rising to 300Mbps in the spring. This compares with 6.8Mbps, the average actual speed of all UK broadband according to Ofcom’s latest research published in July 2011.

Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, said: “This is the biggest fibre broadband announcement we’ve made to date in Scotland and almost doubles the number of exchange areas being upgraded. It marks a major investment in infrastructure which will give the country a tremendous boost. Next generation broadband is essential for our nation’s economic growth so it’s brilliant to be ending 2011 on such a high note.

“Super-fast broadband will be welcomed by families throughout these 34 areas because it will help improve their quality of life and leisure and open new doors through online learning and fast access to information and services. And it’s also going to provide a huge fillip for businesses. At a stroke, small and medium sized firms will have access to big business speeds at much lower costs allowing them to find new markets, boost their competitiveness and create new jobs.”

The Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment Alex Neil said: “This is more great news for Scottish businesses and households across the country. Access to super-fast broadband will help existing business expand, attract new business and will connect communities.

“We have set out our ambition for all of Scotland to have access to next generation broadband by 2020, with significant progress to be made by 2015. It is an important part of the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy.

“The majority of investment in next generation broadband should be led by the private sector and I welcome BT’s plans to extend their superfast network further across Scotland”

Brendan Dick added: “We are making rapid progress with super-fast broadband. More than six million UK premises can now access the high-speed technology and last month we announced that two thirds of UK premises will have access by the end of 2014, a year earlier than planned.

“And we’re not forgetting the final third – largely rural areas which we have always said will require a partnership approach with the public sector to provide access to the new technology. BT has the strength and experience to deliver challenging projects – as we are doing with major faster broadband initiatives in Northern Ireland and Cornwall – and we are determined to be at the forefront of taking the technology to the final third.

“In parallel to BT’s investment, the wider movement to make super-fast broadband available across Scotland is rapidly gathering pace,” he added. “Next year could prove momentous.”

Internet users with a fibre broadband connection can do much more online, all at the same time. A family can download a movie, watch a TV replay service, surf the net and play games online simultaneously. The latest chart hit can be downloaded in around two seconds, a CD in 30 seconds and a feature length HD film in 10 minutes.

Upload speeds are the fastest in the UK, with large video and data files being sent almost instantly and posting hi-resolution photos on Facebook, takes seconds.

Faster upstream speeds also boost flexible and remote working, slashing office overheads and improving employees’ work-life balance. Large graphic and video files can be sent immediately online instead of being physically delivered to customers on hard disk. And high quality voice and video calls will enable businesses to save time travelling to clients without losing direct customer contact.

Unlike other companies, Openreach offers network access to service providers on an open, wholesale basis, supporting a competitive market. For further information on Openreach’s super-fast broadband programme visit www.superfast-openreach.co.uk

New Scottish fibre locations

ABERDEEN BALGOWNIE

DUNDEE BAXTER

ABERDEEN KINCORTH

KILMARNOCK

ABERDEEN LOCHNAGAR

GLASGOW BARRHEAD

ABERDEEN WEST

KIRKCALDY, FIFE

ABERDEEN PORTLETHEN

LEVEN, FIFE

STONEHAVEN

GLASGOW BELL

ARBROATH

GLASGOW DOUGLAS

EDINBURGH ABBEYHILL

GLASGOW IBROX

EDINBURGH GRANTON

GLASGOW POLLOK

EDINBURGH LEITH

GLASGOW SOUTH

EDINBURGH LIBERTON

GLASGOW SPRINGBURN

EDINBURGH PORTOBELLO

GREENOCK

EDINBURGH SOUTH QUEENSFERRY

GOREBRIDGE

EDINBURGH WESTER HAILES

ARDROSSAN- SALTCOATS

ALLOA

GLASGOW CAMBUSLANG

DUMFRIES

DUMBARTON

DUNDEE FAIRMUIR

LIVINGSTON

Notes to editors

* BT’s deployment plans are subject to an acceptable environment for investment. 

Due to the current network topography, and the economics of deployment, it is likely that a small minority of premises within the selected exchange areas will not initially be able to be served by fibre-based broadband. However, Openreach is actively looking at alternative solutions for these locations..

Contact: BT Scotland press office
Phone: 0800 085 0660

Website: http://www.btplc.com/news