MPs check out latest rollout of ultrafast broadband

North East MPs Andrew Bowie and David Duguid met Openreach engineers this week to check on the latest rollout of ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband in the region.

By John A. MacInnes
Friday, 24th June 2022, 9:13 am
Updated Friday, 24th June 2022, 9:20 am
Andrew Bowie MP (back left) with Fraser Rowberry (back right) and engineer Stewart Williamson
Andrew Bowie MP (back left) with Fraser Rowberry (back right) and engineer Stewart Williamson

They were given a tour of the work in Stonehaven and Banff, along with an update on the Aberdeenshire build. It has now reached more than 23,000 properties, meaning full fibre is available to around one in five homes and businesses.

In Stonehaven, nearly half of local business and households can now connect to the new network, while in Banff around a third now have access. Take-up of the new services available is above average, topping 40 per cent in the Banff and Buchan constituency and 38 per cent in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine.

Locations like Peterhead, Ellon and Inverurie are also benefitting from full fibre technology, with work continuing to reach thousands more homes and businesses. Engineers expect to start work in Cruden Bay next. The majority of premises in 30 Aberdeenshire towns and villages will be upgraded under Openreach’s plan to reach 25m premises by 2026, alongside its city build in Aberdeen.

Openreach operates Scotland’s largest broadband network, used by customers of companies like BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen. Around 85 per cent of households in Aberdeenshire can access a superfast service at 30Mbps or more through its network.

Andrew Bowie MP said: “I‘m pleased to see the progress being made by Openreach and hear about their wider plans to deliver full fibre to our rural towns. I’ve been campaigning for years for local people to be able to reap the full benefits of better broadband, and to make sure our harder-to-reach communities are connected.”

David Duguid MP said: “Rural connectivity remains a top concern for my constituents. While I am pleased to see Openreach investing in Aberdeenshire towns, I will continue to push hard for faster broadband rollout for those living in more rural locations. I welcomed the opportunity to discuss the challenges Openreach faces, particularly with regard to red tape that holds up the build.”

Full fibre broadband offers download speeds of one gigabit per second (1Gbps)