Scotland-wide access to broadband and mobile connectivity is key to a strong economy and a more inclusive Scotland. The Scottish Government and its partners (the UK Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, BT, local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund) have invested over £400 million in the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme. More than 800,000 premises in Scotland can now access fibre broadband, and by the end of 2017 at least 95% of premises across Scotland will have access to a fibre broadband network. Following strong take up figures, £17.9 million was reinvested back into the programme which will ensure thousands more premises benefit via an extended build, by the end of 2018.

Instant internet

Vivienne Seeley runs her graphic design consultancy, VivID, from her home in the Scottish Borders. Vivienne designs brand identities, websites and other marketing materials for her local and UK-wide client-base. Vivienne says: “Fibre broadband has made a huge difference to me. I need to send large design files to clients and printers and in the past, this could take ages. The internet connection would often crash and I would need to start again, which was really frustrating. Now, files are sent instantly. I just don’t have to think about the technology any more, I can get on with my business.”

Upgrade promotes household harmony

With two teenage children and a husband who runs a recruitment company from home, Vivienne says that before they had a fibre connection, all four of them would compete for the available bandwidth. “Our two businesses tended to come first, which meant that my sons were frustrated because they could not do what they wanted online such as play X-Box games or download videos. So it is fantastic for us that now everyone can enjoy the same fast speeds regardless of how many people are online at the same time.” Vivienne’s husband Paul agrees. “I log into our office network from home and find that now we have fibre broadband, the connection is considerably faster and more reliable.”

Key points to note:

• Due to the scale and complexity of the task at hand, it’s not possible to connect all areas at once.

• Both the current commercial and DSSB programmes are still in the process of rolling out fibre broadband.

• To find out where and when fibre broadband will roll-out in your area visit

• You’ll need to contact your service provider to switch to fibre broadband as this doesn’t happen automatically.

• Beyond the current programme, the Scottish Government has made the commitment of delivering 100% superfast broadband across Scotland by 2021.‎

• Some residents may be eligible for a subsidised basic broadband installation; designed to provide a better broadband connection for those on the lowest speeds ahead of any future public investment in superfast broadband. Further information: where-when/the-programme/alternative solutions