Rural areas switching on to faster broadband speed across Scotland

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FASTER broadband is being extended to more communities around Scotland, BT announced yesterday.

Banff in Aberdeenshire and Lockerbie in Dumfries & Galloway are among the latest areas to benefit from upgrades as part of the roll-out of the next generation broadband service delivered over copper lines.

Also included are seven locations in the north of Scotland – Alness, Dingwall, Invergordon, Kirkwall, Lerwick, Tain and Thurso – which have been upgraded as part of a wider £8 million investment programme to improve links in the Highlands & Islands.

The investment will make available download speeds of up to 20 megabits per second, more than double the fastest speed previously available from BT.

The new service is accessible to around 1.7 million Scottish premises and it means 78 per cent of homes and businesses across the country are now able to access faster broadband.

Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister and cabinet secretary for infrastructure, investment and cities, said: “Broadband, just like roads and railways, is a vital part of Scotland’s infrastructure. I very much welcome this latest announcement from BT.”

The investment in the copper network is in addition to BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out of fibre-based broadband which will bring even faster speeds to around two-thirds of the UK in spring 2014. BT Scotland is also seeking to work in partnership with the Scottish Government and its agencies to extend fibre broadband to the remaining parts of the country that are harder to reach.