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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-11468: Michelle Ballantyne (South Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 21 September 2017

To ask the Scottish Government when exchange-only line users will be able to receive high-speed internet on a parity with other areas covered by the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband Programme.

Answered by: Fergus Ewing 3 October 2017

Premises served by Exchange Only (EO) lines require considerably more complex engineering work in order to deliver fibre broadband to them. Despite this, the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme has connected a significant number of premises served by EO lines.

Latest figures show that over 780,000 premises have been connected through the DSSB programme. Of these, over 267,000 of these premises were Exchange Only (EO) lines that are now fibre enabled.

Despite telecoms being reserved to Westminster, the Scottish Government has committed to build on the success of our initial investment and ensure that every premise in Scotland, including those served by EO lines, can access superfast broadband by 2021. This is the only commitment of its kind in the UK and demonstrates the extent of our ambition in this area.