Faster broadband is now available to almost 80,000 more homes and businesses in Scotland, including nearly 4,000 in Brechin, BT announced on Wednesday, December 19.
Brechin is among the latest to benefit from upgrades as part of the roll-out of BT’s next generation broadband service delivered over copper lines.
It also includes seven towns in the north of Scotland – Alness, Dingwall, Invergordon, Tain, Thurso, Lerwick and Kirkwall – which have been upgraded as part of a wider £8m investment programme to improve links in the Highlands and Islands.
The BT investment will make available download speeds of up to 20 megabits per second (Mbps) – more than double the fastest speed previously available from BT.
The new service is now accessible to around 1.7 million Scottish premises and is available on an open, wholesale basis to all companies providing broadband.
It takes the number of homes and businesses across the country able to access the faster broadband to around 78 per cent.
Brechin councillor Mairi Evans, who is also Angus Council economic development spokesperson, said: “This investment is good news for Brechin and further great news for Scotland. It’s good to see more communities benefiting from the roll-out of faster broadband, through the upgrade of BT’s copper network.
“This technology will create new opportunities, giving our businesses a competitive edge as well as opening new doors for people of every age and background.”
Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, said: “Broadband, just like roads and railways, is a vital part of Scotland’s infrastructure.
“I very much welcome this latest announcement from BT. It is essential that households and businesses everywhere in Scotland have access to high-speed connectivity to enable our economy to thrive.”
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “Increasingly, broadband is an essential part of everyday life, whether you’re Christmas shopping online, sharing photographs and videos with the family, working in an office or as a homeworker, improving your education or just wanting to download a film or programme online.
“It has the power to transform every aspect of our lives and is a vital part of ensuring the future prosperity of communities across Scotland.”
This investment in the copper network is in addition to BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out of fibre-based broadband which will bring even faster speeds to around two-thirds of UK premises during Spring 2014.
BT Scotland is also seeking to work in partnership with the Scottish Government and its agencies to extend fibre broadband to the remaining parts of the country that are harder to reach.