More than a million homes and businesses in Scotland can now connect to high-speed fibre broadband, BT has announced.
The engineering milestone was passed as the Scottish Borders town of Hawick became the latest community to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion commercial roll-out.
The 1m total includes more than 330,000 premises in Glasgow and the west; 190,000 in Edinburgh and the Lothians; 120,000 in the south of Scotland; 100,000 in Aberdeen and the north-east and 93,000 in Tayside and Fife. Openreach engineers have now laid more than 1,850KM of fibre cable in Scotland.
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: 'Today marks a high point in Scotland’s development as one of Europe’s leading nations for high-speed communications. Scotland’s fibre infrastructure is growing rapidly, with another 400,000 premises to be passed before our commercial programme is complete.
'But, with one of the most ambitious fibre partnerships in Europe under way to extend this high-speed technology into the places that the market alone won’t reach, the biggest challenge is yet to come.
'Fibre investment in Scotland is not just about kilometres of cable in the ground but about our economic and social capabilities as a country. We’ve recruited around 150 new engineers in recent months as our roll-out gains momentum and we’re proud to be at the heart of Scotland, delivering the digital fabric of the nation."
Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon added: 'Today’s milestone is fantastic news for households and businesses across Scotland who are now seeing the benefits of high quality digital connectivity.
'Through the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband Project, the Scottish government and partner agencies are providing fibre broadband infrastructure to harder to reach areas. Combined with the current commercial roll-out plans, this will give around 95 per cent of premises in Scotland access to fibre broadband by the end of 2017, making it one of the most ambitious broadband infrastructure projects ever to have been undertaken.'