More fibre broadband has gone live in South Ayrshire thanks to the £428m Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband roll-out.
More than 800,000 premises across Scotland can now receive fibre broadband through the programme, with homes and businesses in Minishant, Ballantrae, Dailly and Turnberry now included for the first time, and more coverage going live in Dunure, Girvan and Symington.
Many of the latest local premises to be passed by the roll-out were previously served by ‘exchange only’ lines, a historic legacy of the copper network once thought to be out of the reach of high-speed fibre services.
Each week the programme, one of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe, reaches more remote and rural areas, passing another 34,000 households and businesses in the last six months.
Across the country around 4,100 new fibre street cabinets are now live and more than 8,700km of cable has been laid by engineers from Openreach, Scotland’s digital network business.
Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable broadband connections but 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 include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), BT Group, local authorities and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund.
Whether you own a business, work from home or want to keep in touch with friends and family, fibre broadband enables multiple users to connect to the internet at high speeds and get better, faster access to online services.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Fast internet connection is vital to the economic and social wellbeing of our rural communities, supporting businesses and improving lives of local people.
“Last year we made faster progress than any other part of the UK and we are on-track to meet our Programme for Government commitment of 95% coverage by the end of this year.
“However, these upgrades are not automatic. I would encourage more people to check whether they are eligible on the DSSB website and contact a service provider of their choice to start receiving faster broadband. 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 focussing on the next steps to achieve 100% coverage by 2021.”
UK Minister for Digital Matt Hancock said: “It’s great that coverage has now been extended to Ballantrae and we’ll continue to support Digital Scotland delivering on the ground.”
Robert Thorburn, Openreach digital partnership director for Scotland, said: “It’s fantastic to be reaching rural communities such as Minishant and Turnberry and means more people in South Ayrshire can now order their fastest-ever broadband speeds.”