More than 95% of Scotland’s homes and businesses can now connect to a fibre-based broadband service, according to the Scottish government which announced the milestone via a press release. The rollout has been delivered through the ‘Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband’ (‘DSSB’) project, it said, with a total contribution of GBP280 million (USD401 million) from across Scotland’s public sector. It noted that without the DSSB programme, only an estimated 66% of the country would be able to receive fibre-based broadband connectivity. DSSB is delivered through two projects, led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its area, and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland, while funding partners also include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), BT Group, local authorities and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund. The 95% coverage level was reportedly achieved at the end of 2017, in line with the commitment made in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2017, and has been ‘subject to checking and confirmation processes until this point’.
Commenting on the matter, Scotland’s Connectivity Secretary Fergus Ewing said: ‘This is a landmark for the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, which has connected around 890,000 premises to fibre broadband, and is ensuring Scotland can offer world-class digital infrastructure … However, we want to go further, and we are now focusing on delivering our GBP600 million ‘Reaching 100%’ programme, which is the biggest public investment ever made in a single UK broadband project. This will make sure every single premise in Scotland can access at speeds of at least 30Mbps by the end of 2021.’