More than one million faster broadband connections have been delivered in Scotland thanks to a £1 billion public investment programme.

The £463 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) and £600 million Reaching 100% (R100) programmes have combined to reach the homes and businesses connectivity milestone.

(DSSB), launched in 2014, has connected more than 950,600 premises to fibre-based broadband – over 150,000 more than originally anticipated. The build was completed in 2020, with independent analysis showing that the programme is delivering £12 of benefits to the economy for every £1 of public funding.

And the (R100) programme, one of the most ambitious and complex digital infrastructure programmes in Europe, is now rolling out connections in some of the country’s most challenging rural locations. 

Originally conceived as a superfast broadband programme, R100 is now providing a gigabit-capable connection – a speed more than 30 times faster than superfast broadband – in around 99% of cases. Building to some of the hardest-to-reach parts of Scotland, 48,000 connections have so far been delivered through the R100 contracts, with a further 3,800 connections provided through the R100 Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme. 

Mairi McAllan, Wellbeing Economy Secretary, marked the delivery milestone during a visit to Highland Fling Bungee in Perthshire, a small business that has benefitted from the R100 contracts.

She said: “Fast and reliable broadband has never been so important: it is an increasingly vital tool for everything from work and leisure, healthcare and education. As illustrated by Highland Fling Bungee, it is also unlocking new ways for businesses to innovate and thrive.

“This is precisely why the Scottish Government has prioritised investment in digital connectivity in the 2024-25 Budget. Indeed, despite telecoms being reserved, we have now committed to investing more than £650 million across the DSSB and R100 programmes, recognising that faster broadband is a key building block for a green and growing economy.  

“Enabling more than one million connections to faster broadband is a landmark achievement in delivering this vision, and we are fully committed to ensuring as many people as possible can benefit from the advantages of future-proofed digital infrastructure to run businesses and services across the country.”

Laurie Thomas, Operations Manager at Highland Fling Bungee in Killiecrankie said:  “Full Fibre broadband connection has benefited all aspects of our business. It has had huge positive impacts for our marketing and operations so that now we can livestream jumps and send edited videos of customer jumps in around a day, as well as helping our social media. This has made a significant difference to how we can engage and respond to customers, which has been game-changing for our business.”