The £410 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband rollout has reached another 39,000 households and businesses across Scotland in the latest three-month period.
In Dumfries and Galloway, it means the current Digital Scotland rollout has now been completed in Haugh of Urr, Springholm, Collin, Eastriggs, Gatehouse of Fleet and Hightae.
More cabinets have also gone live extending the coverage available to premises in Gelston, Collin, Dumfries, Kingholm Quay, Kirkinner and Newton Stewart.
Other local places where fibre broadband is now available through the rollout include Bridge of Dee, Beattock, Clarencefield, Crocketford, Kettleholm, Kirtlebridge, Kirkpatrick Fleming, Laurieston, Lochmaben, Lochfoot, Moniaive, New Abbey, Palnackie and Twynholm.
To benefit from the faster connection speeds, residents need to sign up for a fibre service with their chosen provider, as upgrades aren’t automatic. More coverage is set follow as the rollout continues.
Across Scotland, engineers have now installed more than 7,800 kilometres of new cable – enough to stretch from Loch Ness to Qinghai Lake in China.
BT is investing £126 million in the projects with Openreach, its local network division, delivering on the ground. Other funding partners include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund.
The independent Think Broadband website shows that nearly 87 per cent of Scottish premises can now access a broadband speed of 30Mbps or above.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Connectivity Fergus Ewing said: “As announced in the Programme for Government, we are putting digital connectivity at the heart of our agenda and delivering 100% superfast broadband by the end of the next Parliament is one of our priorities. Enhanced digital connectivity will improve the productivity of businesses and help to build economic growth in remote and rural areas.”
Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Councillor Ronnie Nicholson, said: “I’m pleased that more areas across Dumfries and Galloway now have access to fibre broadband as a result of the programme, partly thanks to the £12.6 m being invested by the Council.
“The difference that fibre can make is remarkable whether you work from home or just all want to get online at the same time. Access to superfast broadband is one of the number one asks of businesses in the region. That’s why it is so important that more areas in the region are added as the roll out continues.”
Liz Mallinson, BT Scotland’s Fibre Broadband Director, added: “Every day our engineers are bringing fibre broadband to more Scottish homes and businesses. It’s a massive civil engineering task which is benefiting the whole country, now and for the long term, and they’re doing a fantastic job.
“The difference it makes to people from all walks of life and in all sorts of situations is amazing, whether you’re running a business or have the whole family online at the same time without any slowdowns or frustrations. Whatever you do online, you can do it better and faster with fibre broadband.
“We know there’s more to do. We’re going to invest billions more in our high-speed broadband and mobile networks and use new technologies to boost speeds in rural areas. But with around one in four Scottish premises having made the move to a fibre service, there’s plenty of capacity for many more people to benefit right now.”
Local people can check the interactive map on the Digital Scotland website (http://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/where-when/) to find out if they can get the service and further information is also available on Twitter @ScotSuperfast or Facebook atwww.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast