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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-06925: Mairi Gougeon (Angus North and Mearns)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 7 February 2017

To ask the Scottish Government how many homes in (a) Angus North and Mearns and (b) Scotland are connected to fibre broadband, and what information it has regarding how many are connected as a result of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

Answered by: Fergus Ewing 27 February 2017

The Scottish Government does not hold information on the number of premises connected through commercial deployment of superfast broadband. Ofcom’s Connected Nations Report 2016 indicates that speeds of 30 Mbps or above are now available to 83% of premises in Scotland, up from 73% in 2015.

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme has brought fibre broadband access to over 700,000 homes and businesses so far and will extend to at least 95% of premises across Scotland by the end of 2017. Without this, only 66% of premises would have been reached, with just 21% coverage across the Highlands and no coverage at all in Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles. Over 7,000 premises in Angus North and Mearns now have access to fibre broadband as a result of the DSSB programme, over 80% of which are capable of accessing superfast speeds.

We are committed to extending superfast broadband access to every premise in Scotland by 2021. At the end of last year we launched an Open Market Review to determine commercial investment plans over the next three years. This is a key state aid requirement ahead of any large-scale public investment programme in broadband and will help Scottish Government determine a new intervention area, ahead of new procurement activity to begin later this year.