Full fibre broadband to reach more homes in Aberdeenshire

More than 30,000 homes and businesses in Aberdeenshire – in some of the area’s hardest to serve communities – could soon benefit from ultrafast full fibre broadband.

By Kevin McRoberts
Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 6:46 am
Openreach is extending its full fibre broadband network in Aberdeenshire - and adding to its workforce.
Openreach is extending its full fibre broadband network in Aberdeenshire - and adding to its workforce.

Openreach has outlined plans to upgrade 20 exchange areas in Aberdeenshire, with Mintlaw among the areas set to benefit.

The announcement expands on Openreach’s existing nationwide build plans, which already include Fraserburgh, Peterhead and other main towns in the North-east.

The plans also include an extension to the company’s biggest ever recruitment drive, which already included the anouncement of 275 jobs in Scotland.

Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said: “This is good news for Aberdeenshire. The rollout of ultrafast broadband to so many more rural communities is vitally important, especially as we focus on recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Continued commercial build is an important part of the Reaching 100% Programme’s aim to provide access to superfast speeds for all premises. This focus on rural and hard-to-reach areas is exactly what I want to see and I look forward to hearing that these 30,000 addresses are connected.”

Robert Thorburn, Openreach Scotland’s strategic infrastructure director, said: “Building a new broadband network across Scotland is a massive challenge and some parts of the country will inevitably require further public funding.

"But our expanded build plan means any future taxpayer subsidies can be limited to only the hardest to connect homes and businesses. And with investments from other builders, we’d hope to see that shrink further.”

With download speeds of 1 Gbps, full fibre is up to 10 times faster than the average home broadband connection. That means faster game downloads, better quality video calls and higher resolution movie streaming. Households can use multiple devices at once without experiencing slowdown – so more people can get online at once. Full fibre is also less affected by peak time congestion.

Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research highlighted clear economic benefits of connecting the nation to full fibre, creating a £2bn boost by enabling more people to enter the workforce.