Newtonhill and Laurencekirk are among the latest communities to be included in a roll-out of faster broadband by BT.
They are due to be upgraded by the spring of 2013. This will make available download speeds of up to 20 megabits per second (Mbps), more than double the speed previously available from BT.
Councillor Ian Mollison welcomed the news: “Some parts of my North Kincardine ward currently have a very poor broadband service, and this is a step in the right direction.
“Broadband is a now vital part of modern day living and working. It is especially essential that our businesses are able to quickly access their markets and customers.”
The faster broadband delivered over copper lines is already available to around 1.5 million homes and businesses in Scotland.
Some 39 communities across the country are included in the latest phase. By spring around three quarters of homes and businesses in Scotland will be served by an exchange which has been upgraded to deliver these higher speeds.
The new service is available on an open, wholesale basis to all companies providing broadband.
Once an exchange area has been upgraded, some service providers automatically upgrade their customers. People should contact their provider for more information.
BT Scotland director Brendan Dick said: “The technology is having a major impact on our everyday lives and changing for the better the way we live, helping businesses work more efficiently and flexibly and find new markets. And communities are better able to make use of the huge range of on-line educational and entertainment opportunities available. But there is still much work to be done and we want to work with the public sector to find solutions for even the most challenging locations.”
This investment in the copper network is in addition to BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out of fibre-based broadband, which will bring even faster speeds to around two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014. Some 94 Scottish exchange areas covering around 836,000 premises have been included in the fibre upgrade plan to date.