£95m Openreach investment will see thousands more Scottish homes and businesses get broadband boost

Thousands more Scottish homes and businesses are set to be offered a broadband boost thanks to fresh investment by network provider Openreach.

More than 50 further communities will be upgraded following the company’s latest £95 million upgrade announcement, with ultrafast, full-fibre broadband provision to be built to most premises in those areas.

Inverness and East Kilbride are the largest locations to benefit, with Ecclefechan in Dumfries and Galloway and Stow in Scottish Borders among the smallest. The island communities of Rothesay on Bute, Whiting Bay on Arran and Port Ellen on Islay are also included, alongside places such as Broughty Ferry, Portsoy, Cumbernauld, Wishaw and Garelochhead.

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Overall, some 272,000 Scottish homes and businesses are set for a boost when the high-speed connections are rolled out and offered to customers via service providers like BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone.

Openreach, the separate network arm of BT, said it has now reached more than six million homes and businesses across the UK with ultrafast full fibre - around 480,000 of them in Scotland.

Openreach, the separate network arm of BT, said it has now reached more than six million homes and businesses across the UK with ultrafast full fibre - around 480,000 of them in Scotland.

The latest plans follow news earlier this year that some 300,000 Scottish homes and businesses would get access to Openreach’s new network, mostly in rural and harder-to-serve areas.

Katie Milligan, chair of the Openreach board in Scotland, said: “As Scotland’s biggest fibre builder, we’re delighted to be unveiling another broadband boost right across the country. Good connectivity is vital – whether it’s to work from home, access education and care services, or for gaming and streaming entertainment – and that’s why we’re investing across the UK to upgrade our network to 25 million premises.

“We’ve already reached six million homes and businesses with ultrafast full fibre technology, including 480,000 in Scotland. It’s proving popular as well, with nearly 23 per cent already choosing to start using it.

“Our engineers and build partners are reaching more communities every week and we’re not just building in cities and urban areas. Many rural and hard-to-reach communities are already benefiting and we plan to reach many more in the coming months and years,” Milligan added.

Across the UK, more than 1.3 million homes and businesses have already ordered a full fibre service from a range of retail service providers using the Openreach network.

The company, which employs more than 3,200 people across Scotland, plans to reach a total of 25 million premises by the end of December 2026, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts of the country defined by industry regulator Ofcom.

Scottish economy secretary Kate Forbes said: “Digital connectivity is more vital than ever and critical to Scotland’s plans for a strong, green and fair economic recovery.

“Our Reaching 100 per cent (R100) programme – including our investment of £600m in the R100 contracts – ensures that everyone in Scotland can access superfast broadband.

“With Openreach’s latest commercial investment of £95m, this will ensure more than 50 of our communities across Scotland will be able to access even faster full-fibre broadband.”

Full fibre broadband is up to ten times faster than the average home broadband connection.

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