Parts of Kincardine and Mearns could see the benefit of fast speed internet as soon as July according to BT.
Up to 145,000 homes and businesses across Scotland will be next to benefit from the arrival of high-speed fibre broadband in the latest phase of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.
Included in the latest phase work is Inverbervie, St Cyrus, Laurencekirk and Fettercairn.
Since the £410 million roll-out began last year, over 3,400 km of fibre cable has been laid across Scotland with more than 275,000 homes and business now able to connect to fibre broadband thanks to the partnership, and in addition to commercial deployments by the private sector.
The partnership, which is celebrating the first anniversary of the start of the deployment this month, announced on Monday that fibre broadband will be rolled out in another 200-plus locations across the country as engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, continue work on the ground.
The first connections in the latest locations are expected to start to go live this Autumn.
Some homes and businesses will be served after additional engineering work on so-called ‘exchange only’ lines which run directly from the exchange to households and businesses – bypassing the usual road-side cabinets which are integral to the fibre rollout.
Engineers will rearrange the existing network and lay hundreds of metres of cable to reroute these lines through new road-side cabinets.
Fibre broadband enables multiple users in a home or business to access the internet, download and share large files at the same time and more quickly than ever before. As the higher speeds become available, anyone interested in signing up for fibre-based services should contact their broadband service provider.
Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It is great to be celebrating the first year of deployment of the £410M Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, while announcing that more exchanges will be included, with areas such as Portpatrick in the south of Scotland and as far north as Voe in the Shetland Islands being able to connect to fibre broadband for the first time.
“The project is developing a high speed fibre network which is changing the face of broadband. By reaching out to those who would not have been covered through the commercial market – in towns and into some of our most rural areas – we are ensuring that the connections which are made will bring many benefits to the Scottish people at home and in business.”
The Digital Scotland rollout consists of two projects. One is led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) for its region and the other covers the rest of Scotland.
Stuart Robertson, HIE Director of Digital Highlands and Islands, said: “With the first fibre broadband services now available to order in Orkney and Shetland it’s great that the roll-out is continuing for more of the islands’ communities. Also, over the next six months we will see coverage stretch further into the Badenoch and Strathspey area – in Kingussie we are building four new fibre cabinets which could reach more than 800 local homes and businesses.”
Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, said: “The rollout of fibre broadband across Scotland is one of the biggest and most complex civil engineering projects taking place in the UK today and we’re proud to be at the heart of it. It’s great to be announcing so many new locations this week as we celebrate our first, full year of deployment.
“In any project on this scale plans can change as engineering work progresses, for a variety of reasons. It’s important people understand that our plans aren’t set in stone but give the best possible forward view of where we expect to go next with the rollout.
“The website at www.digitalscotland.org/whereandwhen is updated frequently and is an excellent source of information as people can check the latest details based on their own postcodes. I’d also encourage people to register online for updates when there’s news for their postcode area, such as when fibre broadband becomes available.”
Further information is also available on Twitter @ScotSuperfast or Facebook at www.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast