Highlands Embrace Digital Revolution: Full Fibre Connectivity Unleashed by Openreach

In a landmark development, Openreach, in collaboration with the Scottish Government’s ambitious £600 million Reaching 100% programme, has successfully transformed digital connectivity for approximately 3,300 households and businesses in the Highlands. The R100 build, part of a broader initiative, signifies a significant stride towards providing full fibre technology to 40,000 of Scotland’s most challenging-to-connect properties.

Recent expansions in Corpach, Fortrose, Gorthleck, and Munlochy highlight the success of the R100 rollout, with more addresses in Ballachulish set to benefit from upgrades to ultra-fast and reliable connections.

Full fibre broadband, exceeding 30 times the speed of the Scottish Government’s initial commitment, is a game-changer for homes and businesses with existing connections of less than 30 Megabits per second (Mbps). This transformative leap ensures that residents in John O’Groats and Lyth, among other places, are positioned for a digital future.

Residents can verify the rollout status for their addresses and register for updates at www.openreach.co.uk/r100. Registrations play a vital role in Openreach’s meticulous planning, ensuring a responsive approach to community demand. Once full fibre is available, residents can seamlessly arrange service upgrades through their chosen providers.

Scottish Government Innovation Minister Richard Lochhead emphasized the importance of full fibre upgrades, stating, “The R100 contracts are delivering future-proofed digital infrastructure that will underpin economic growth and enhance the economic prospects of communities across Scotland for decades to come. Digital connectivity is transforming how we live our lives, improving public services, and helping businesses develop new products while reducing costs.”

Full fibre broadband provides more reliable, resilient, and future-proof connections, minimizing faults and ensuring consistent speeds with enough capacity to meet ever-growing data demands across multiple devices. This technological advancement is a boon for various online activities at home, including data-hungry streaming of movies, sports, TV, and online gaming. For businesses, an ultra-reliable connection supports productivity, efficiency, and security, facilitating day-to-day operations like video calls, cloud applications, online banking, and customer experiences.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach Partnership Director for Scotland, highlighted the program’s commitment to bringing fast and reliable broadband to the hardest-to-reach places in Scotland. Recognizing the complexity of the build, Thorburn underscored collaborative efforts with Highland Council and build partners to minimize disruption to residents, emphasizing the magnitude of this civil undertaking. The weeks and months ahead promise even more progress and expansion, marking a significant step towards a fully connected Scotland.

Jonny Rae

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