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Around 400,000 premises to benefit from full fibre in £160m broadband rollout
Full fibre underground build. Openreach/supplied
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Around 400,000 premises to benefit from full fibre in £160m broadband rollout 

Around 400,000 more Scottish homes and businesses are set to benefit from a broadband boost worth around £160 million, a digital infrastructure giant has announced.

Leading broadband network provider Openreach will also provide full fibre to dozens more urban locations, on top of 160 new rural places announced last month.

People living and working in another 48 urban areas – including Dunfermline, Falkirk, Ibrox, Govan, Bridge of Weir, Paisley and Livingston – are set to benefit from the company’s national upgrade plan, with the majority of premises in each area gaining access to the latest “ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband”.

With an investment of over £100m in the Glasgow region, more than 250,000 households and businesses in and around the city are included.

The ‘fibre to the premises’ will be installed using a combination of telegraph poles and underground cables. Engineers plan to utilise existing infrastructure in order to minimise traffic and disruption.

Work will take place between now and 2026, and more details of the full list of locations and timescales are published on Openreach’s website. A full list of the locations is below.

The news comes after a similar announcement last month, when 300,000 premises – in 160 mainly rural and harder to serve areas across Scotland – were also included in the build plan.

Both announcements build on Openreach’s existing work across Scotland, where more than 400,000 homes and businesses can already access full fibre broadband.

Following a competitive tender process, a number of partners – including Morrison Telecom Services (MTS), Kier and KN Circet – were chosen by Openreach to support the Scottish upgrades and will play a crucial role in building the new network to thousands of premises in these locations.

Robert Thorburn, strategic infrastructure director for Openreach Scotland, said: “Nobody in Scotland is building full fibre faster, further or better than Openreach. We’re reaching more communities than ever and our team of highly-skilled engineers, alongside our build partners, are working hard to deliver some of the fastest and most reliable broadband available anywhere in the world.

“Just last month we announced 160 rural and hard to reach locations across Scotland were to benefit, so it’s great that we’re able to reveal another huge broadband boost with these additional urban locations. Our investment and commitment to Scotland – whether it’s urban or rural – will help to underpin economic recovery, stability and a stronger, more equal society.”

Barry McNicholas, group managing director of Kier Utilities, said: “The need for reliable and fast broadband speeds has never been greater and we are proud to be working with Openreach to support their ambitious plans of bringing full fibre broadband to homes and businesses across the UK.

“We look forward to building new digital infrastructure in places like Dunfermline, where we will be working with our local teams and supply chain partners to carry out these works.”

Pat Carolan, managing director of Morrison Telecom Services, added: “The last 18 months have highlighted the importance of keeping people connected and we recognise that we have a pivotal role to play in helping Openreach to deliver full fibre broadband to Scotland. We look forward to supporting Openreach’s commitment to delivering ultrafast connectivity to homes and businesses in the local community and the many employment, social, economic and environmental benefits that this will bring. Our role is to ensure that the new network is built efficiently, safely and without any compromise on quality.”

The Openreach network is open to all service providers and they offer full fibre packages at a range of speeds which their customers use.

Currently the full fibre network is capable of speeds up to 1Gbps, but the tech is “future-proof”, meaning it has been designed to meet ever-increasing bandwidth demands. 

The company’s updated build plan follows an extended investment commitment by its parent, BT Group – which means Openreach will now bring full fibre technology to a total of 25m UK premises, including more than six million in the “hardest-to-serve” parts of the UK by the end of 2026.  The latest details and timescales will be available online as the build planning progresses.

Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) highlighted the clear economic benefits of connecting everyone in Scotland to full fibre. It estimated this would create a £2bn boost to the economy by enabling thousands to join the workforce and increase hours.

This short video explains what full fibre technology is. Across the UK, Openreach has made full fibre available to more than five million homes and business so far.

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