Openreach isn’t alone in supporting the Scottish economy through ultrafast full fibre, but maybe supporting customers that others overlook

Openreach have announced that their FTTP network now covers over 800,000 premises across Scotland and also showcased research from the Centre for Economics & Business Research suggesting that connecting everyone in Scotland to full fibre broadband could deliver a £4.5 billion boost to the economy.

Funding the rollout has been achieved via an investment of £240 million from Openreach with some support from Gigabit Broadband Vouchers scheme and the Scottish Government’s £600m Reaching 100% (R100) project. The Scottish government scheme focuses on hardest-to-reach premises and has already delivered 14,353 premises out of 114,000 targeted to be connected by 2028.

Ivan McKee, Scottish Business Minister, welcomed the Openreach rollout saying “This is a vital part of our national infrastructure, helping people to work remotely and helping support a greener society. Our Digital Strategy for Scotland sets out the importance of digital connectivity to homes and businesses across the country.” And went on to stress a commitment to “ensure that everyone in Scotland can access at least a superfast broadband connection”
Openreach suggested that 560,000 homes that could already upgrade to their latest network are currently missing out as only 30% of households that could benefit have moved to the new network, but this does not take account of gigabit connectivity already offered in (predominantly) urbans areas by the likes of Virgin Media or CityFibre.

Katie Milligan, Openreach chief commercial officer and chair of its Scotland board, stressed that Openreach was covering more than just urban areas, saying “Around a third of the 800,000 homes and businesses now reached by our new Scottish fibre network are rural. We’re connecting parts of the nation other networks don’t reach”

Related story: Lothian Broadband sets ‘Scotland’s fibre gap’ in its sights

Is Scotland getting its fair share? Connected North, taking place in Manchester in April examines fibre infrastructure investment in the North and questions why Scotland has fallen behind when it comes to fibre infrastructure. Speakers on this panel include Gavin Rodgers, CEO of Lothian Broadband and Matthew Bateman, Director, Infrastructure Development at Openreach. Find out more here