Delivering Faster Internet – gov.scot | Panda Anku

Full fiber optic broadband network expanded.

A further £36m increase in Reaching 100% (R100) contracts will see more rural households and businesses access faster broadband.

The extension of existing contracts with delivery partner Openreach will give a further 2,637 rural properties across Scotland access to gigabit-capable connectivity through additional investment by the Scottish and UK Governments in the R100 scheme.

It will offer speeds more than 30 times faster than the Scottish Government’s initial pledge and will meet a Government 2021/22 program to provide gigabit-capable connections to the islands.

The treaties for both the North Lot – which covers the north of Scotland and most of the inhabited islands of Scotland – and the South Lot – which includes Dumfries and Galloway, the Scottish Borders and stretches from East Lothian and East Ayrshire – will be amended with this new R100 investment extended.

The UK Government’s Gigabit project will fund £16m of this additional investment, to be split between the R100 North and South contracts. The Scottish Government will invest a further £20m in the Northern Contract to fund the gap between the cost of delivery and the contribution of Project Gigabit.

Economy Minister Ivan McKee said:

“This latest investment will connect more homes and businesses in Scotland’s rural and island communities to gigabit-capable broadband. This will have far-reaching economic, social and developmental implications.

“Our R100 program goes further and offers faster broadband than originally planned. This will take time and significant investment, but we are fully committed to ensuring that as many people as possible can reap the important benefits of this future-proof digital infrastructure.”

The UK Government’s Minister for Digital Infrastructure, Matt Warman, said:

“Bringing lightning fast and reliable broadband to hard-to-reach areas is at the heart of the UK Government’s mission to improve communities and that is exactly what we are doing in Scotland with our additional £16m investment in R100.

“We’ve already brought faster broadband to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across Scotland and more investment is planned thanks to Project Gigabit, our record £5 billion program to bring growth and prosperity to rural areas in the digital fast lane.”

Robert Thorburn, Director of Openreach Scotland Partnership said:

“The R100 is built only once in a generation, bringing the fastest, most reliable technology to our most remote residents. All-fiber is future-proof, so the new network will always serve the nation’s needs.

“Connecting these properties back-to-back is one of the biggest broadband challenges in Europe. In order to use resources as efficiently as possible, we will balance R100 construction with our own rural investment. This will help us get engineers and equipment to the most remote locations where they are needed.

“We will continue to evaluate every option to reach more rural households faster.”

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The R100 North property contract extension includes an additional 1,488 properties in the following local authorities: Argyll and Bute, Nahe-Eileanan Siar (Outer Hebrides), Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands.

The South Lot contract extension includes a further 1,149 buildings in: Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, East Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, South Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire.

The North Lot extension will receive £20.2m from the Scottish Government and £9.4m from the UK Government. The South Lot extension is funded with £6.6 million from the UK Government’s Project Gigabit scheme. BT is also making an additional supplier contribution of £0.9m on the South property and £0.8m on the North property. The south property extension is expected to be completed by March 2025 and the north property expansion by March 2028.

The Scottish Government remains committed to further improving broadband coverage in the R100 Central Lot contract covering the Central Belt, Perthshire, parts of Ayrshire and the Scottish Borders.

The online address checker at scotlandsuperfast.com confirms the broadband status of all Scottish homes and businesses, including a six month delivery window for premises eligible for R100 contract connections within the next year and a half.

Project Gigabit is the UK Government’s £5 billion scheme to bring blazing-fast, reliable broadband to hard-to-reach areas across the UK.

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