Richard Thomson, MP for Gordon, has welcomed the announcement from Openreach regarding plans to build ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband to 6,680 premises in Gordon. More than 300,000 homes across rural Scotland will benefit from the work – particularly in the hardest to serve communities.
The five-year feat of civil engineering to upgrade more than 160 exchange areas across Scotland will mean fewer homes and businesses will require taxpayer subsidies to upgrade. The expanding plans delivering the main build for the Scottish Government’s R100 programme will benefit 30,000 premises in Aberdeenshire.
Mr Thomson MP said: “Since becoming an MP I have championed for better connectivity and the value that this can have for people’s lives. The pandemic has highlighted the need for more investment and improvement in the digital infrastructure so it is very welcome to hear of these plans from Openreach which will directly impact many of my constituents and people across rural Scotland.”
Openreach’s updated build plan follows an extended investment commitment by its parent, BT Group – which means Openreach will now build Full Fibre technology to a total of 25 million UK premises.
The plans also include an extension to the company’s biggest ever recruitment drive, with a further 1,000 new roles being created in 2021 on top of the 2,500 jobs announced in December 2020 – of which 275 were in Scotland. This means that by the end of 2021, Openreach will have created and filled more than 9,000 apprenticeship roles since 2017/18.
Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said: “This is good news for Scotland. 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 300,000 addresses are connected.”
To read more about the Fibre First programme and see local plans visit: https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/fibre-first