WORK to improve broadband in a number of ‘hard to reach’ places’ is to get under way within 18 months.
Openreach wants to make ultra-reliable and gigabit-capable full fibre broadband available to places throughout Scotland, including Cockenzie and Port Seton, Prestonpans, Tranent, Belhaven and Dunbar.
It is hoped having access to some of the fastest broadband speeds in Europe will boost post-Covid economic recovery.
Robert Thorburn, Openreach’s partnership director for Scotland, was pleased to see work progressing.
He said: “We’ve already upgraded hundreds of thousands of homes and business across Scotland to full fibre.
“As well as keeping the existing network running throughout the Covid-19 crisis, our engineers have, safely and with social distancing in place, continued building the new infrastructure to make sure that as lockdown restrictions ease, our network is there to support families, businesses and the economic recovery.”
Work is expected to get under way in many of the announced locations within the next 12-18 months, although, due to the size of the build, some places will see work continue into 2024.
Paul Wheelhouse MSP, the Scottish Government’s connectivity minister, said: “Digital Connectivity has played a vital role in supporting our efforts to keep people safe and connected during lockdown, and will play a pivotal role in plans for our strategic economic recovery from the pandemic, maintaining jobs and livelihoods and creating new skills and opportunities.
“This rollout of gigabit-capable full fibre broadband access enabled by Openreach to these more rural areas is welcomed.”
To view the full list of market towns and villages included in the announcement, go to www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband