By 2021 we’ll hit 100% broadband coverage

Ronnie Nicholson outside a BT cabinet upgrading Broadband
Ronnie Nicholson outside a BT cabinet upgrading Broadband

One hundred per cent broadband coverage by the year 2021 - that’s the aim of Dumfries and Galloway Council.

The council says it has invested £12.6 million to supplement our partnership funding in the rollout of superfast broadband to 95% of premises in the region.

This amounts to the second largest contribution from any local authority in Scotland.

So far the council has exceeded the 75% premises coverage which the Scottish Government is committed to provide via the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband Programme, and is currently working towards 95% coverage.

The council now says it is also committed to working with those communities who may be in the remaining 5% with ‘Phase 2 funding’ in place as it plans to reach 100% of coverage by 2021.

A statement from the council said: “Through our Capital budget, of more than £372 million over the next ten years, our Council has committed to numerous Capital Projects: including new schools in Dumfries and Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbright Art Gallery, regeneration projects in areas such as Stranraer, Dumfries and the M74 corridor.

“We recognise that for these projects to be successful there has to be an efficient infrastructure in place, which includes the provision of a modern, effective communication system. For this reason we have invested in the roll out of super-fast broadband.

“However, it is not just about schools, businesses and our economy. We recognise that residents in their own homes also need the best broadband provision possible in this fast-paced, high-tech world. We committed to the Broadband project at a very early stage, recognising the vital difference superfast connectivity would make to people in our region.”

Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Ronnie Nicholson said: “It is the main Priority of this Council to support and stimulate our local economy. Through our Capital Investment we are making the commitment to ensure our Region is a vibrant and successful place to live and work; digital connectivity is vital for our economy and for social inclusion.We believe better broadband connectivity is vital, both for our local businesses and as a key to attracting new business to our region and new customers.

“Access to superfast broadband will also open up new opportunities for education and leisure and we will have the same digital access as those living in our cities.

“It is great to see our investment coming to fruition and communities now realising the benefits. Exceeding the Scottish Governments requirement of 75% is a fantastic achievement.”