BT has announced plans to make faster broadband available to more than 17,000 more homes and businesses in Aberdeenshire - including those in Mintlaw.
Macduff, Inverbervie, Laurencekirk, Alford, Banff, Newtonhill and Turriff are also among the latest Scottish communities to be included in the roll-out of BT’s next generation broadband service delivered over copper lines. They are due to be upgraded by the Spring of next year.
The BT investment will make available download speeds of up to 20 megabits per second (Mbps) – more than double the speed previously available from BT.
The faster broadband has just become available in Huntly, Peterhead and Portlethen after latest upgrades were completed in April and May.
Another seven exchange areas in Aberdeenshire were upgraded earlier.
The addition of the eight new locations will take the overall number of Aberdeenshire premises covered by the faster technology to almost 54,000.
By next Spring around three quarters of homes and businesses in Scotland will be served by an exchange which has been upgraded to deliver these higher speeds. The new service is available on an open, wholesale basis to all companies providing broadband.
Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, said: “This latest announcement from BT is very much welcomed. Broadband is a vital part of the essential infrastructure of Scotland and faster broadband for businesses and households will play a key role in Scotland’s future success.
“Today’s announcement shows the role the private sector has in helping the Scottish Government deliver our Digital Infrastructure Action Plan, moving us a step closer to achieving world-class digital connectivity across Scotland.”
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “The rapid roll-out of faster broadband offers a great opportunity for Aberdeenshire. It is an important part of BT’s plans to help ensure that the North-east is able to take full advantage of the communications revolution.
“The technology is having a major impact on our everyday lives and changing for the better the way we live, helping businesses work more efficiently and flexibly and find new markets. And communities are better able to make use of the huge range of on-line educational and entertainment opportunities available. “
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 by the end of 2014.