For immediate release: Tuesday 2 May 2017
SALMOND: OPERATION 'WIRE UP GORDON' IS WELL UNDERWAY
£15.6 million reinvestment towards pledge to deliver 100% superfast broadband across Scotland by 2021
MP for Gordon, Alex Salmond has today welcomed the announcement of a multi-million-pound reinvestment back into the Scottish Government's Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.
£410 million is being invested in the DSSB programme by the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), BT, the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund.
The Scottish Government has made a commitment to delivering 100% superfast broadband across the country by 2021.
Key to this 100% commitment is the DSSB programme, expected to take fibre broadband coverage to around 95% by the end of 2017.
The DSSB programme has enjoyed early successes, seeing stronger-than-expected take-up figures and an additional £15.6 million of reinvestment back into the programme. This is designed to serve rural areas, many of which lie in Mr Salmond's constituency.
The latest figures show that around 24,499 premises across Gordon can now connect to fibre broadband as a direct result of the Digital Scotland roll-out, with 21,472 premises having access to superfast coverage and more will follow. Superfast coverage in Gordon is 79.4% and it is estimated that the coverage will be 83.3% by December 2017.
This extended build will have a particular focus on maximising the numbers of premises that can access speeds of greater than 24 Megabits per second (Mbps).
In response to the announcement, Mr Salmond said:
"The Scottish Government's DSSB programme is already proving it's worth and delivering targets on time. This substantial reinvestment will only strengthen these successes, and I look forward to seeing the people of Gordon - and all other affected areas - enjoying the connectivity they deserve.
"I would also urge my constituents to ascertain if they are eligible for a subsidised alternative broadband installation so that those experiencing the lowest speeds can enjoy a better connection ahead of the superfast rollout.
"This is great news for my constituents, but there is still much to be done and still many parts of the community frustrated by their lack of connectivity. But we are working hard and I am determined that operation 'Wire Up Gordon' will be a huge success."
Notes to editors:
Constituents may be eligible for a subsidised alternative broadband installation. Further information is available at: https://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/where-when/the-programme/alternative-solutions This is in effect a scheme to provide a better broadband connection for those on the lowest speeds ahead of any future public investment in superfast broadband. If the current situation remains unchanged, their premise will be eligible for future procurements under the commitment to 100% coverage, even if they take advantage of a subsidised installation now.