Openreach Expands Ultrafast Broadband Network to 800,000 Homes in Scotland

Scotland, UK – Openreach, a leading digital network provider, has made significant progress in Scotland by extending its ultrafast full fibre network to over 800,000 homes and businesses. This milestone represents a major leap in providing some of the fastest and most reliable broadband services in Europe to a large portion of Scotland’s population.

The company has invested approximately £240 million in its new network across Scotland, and it has ambitious plans to continue its expansion efforts. Openreach engineers are set to extend the ultrafast full fibre network in both urban and rural areas. Cities like Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Stirling, and Glasgow are on the list for network expansion, as well as rural regions including Fife, East Lothian, Highland, Aberdeenshire, and Dumfries and Galloway, all within the year 2023.

Full fibre broadband, the hallmark of Openreach’s network, offers speeds up to ten times faster than the average home broadband connection and is about five times more reliable than the older copper-based network it’s replacing. While 30 percent of households and businesses in Scotland have already made the transition to the new network where it’s available, a significant 70 percent, equivalent to 560,000 homes, have yet to upgrade.

Openreach’s national network plays a crucial role in Scotland, where residents use approximately 100 million gigabytes of data every week. To put this in perspective, this volume of data is equivalent to 90 million hours of video calls, or 87 million hours of live streaming.

Scottish Government Business Minister Ivan McKee expressed his support for Openreach’s full fibre rollout, emphasizing its significance in bolstering remote work capabilities and contributing to a greener society. Openreach is actively involved in Scotland’s Full Fibre Charter, reflecting its commitment to ensuring widespread access to superfast broadband connections across the nation.

Katie Milligan, Openreach’s Chief Commercial Officer and Chair of its Scotland Board, highlighted the impact of full fibre in rural areas, stating that around one-third of the 800,000 premises reached by the new Scottish fibre network are in rural locations. This expansion not only brings economic benefits but also supports rural communities.

Openreach’s network provides a wide choice of service providers, including BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and Zen. While upgrades are not automatic, placing an order with a chosen provider initiates the process, with Openreach engineers taking care of the rest.

In addition to its independent full fibre build across Scotland, part of a £15 billion UK-wide investment, Openreach is actively delivering the Scottish Government’s Reaching 100% contracts, aiming to upgrade over 114,000 of the most challenging-to-reach homes across the nation.

Research conducted by the Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr) indicates that connecting every individual in Scotland to full fibre broadband could contribute a £4.5 billion boost to the economy and facilitate the return of thousands of people to the workforce.

Jonny Rae

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