For those not familiar with the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme, the Scottish Government and its partners are busy installing the infrastructure required to bring faster internet speeds across Scotland, in areas which weren’t going to be included in the private sector’s commercial plans.
£410 million is being invested in the DSSB programme by the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), BT, the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund.
The DSSB roll-out consists of two projects – one covering the Highlands and Islands area and the other covering the rest of Scotland. The principles behind the programme involve bringing faster internet speeds to as many people as possible with the funding available. This is a really complex and challenging engineering project. In fact, it’s the most ambitious fibre infrastructure project yet undertaken in Europe.
Why fibre broadband?
Broadband is a way of connecting to the internet. Fibre broadband differs from basic broadband in that it’s much faster in terms of the data it can transfer so, if your home or business is connected to fibre broadband, it’s much easier to perform tasks that involve a lot of data – like transferring large files or downloading a film.
The faster upload and download speeds fibre broadband brings is improving the quality of online experiences and supporting exciting new developments in internet services across the country. At home everyone can be online at the same time without screens freezing or quality being compromised, which is especially important if people want to run a business or work from home.
You’ll need to contact your service provider to switch
However, in order to reap these benefits you’ll need to contact your internet service provider to switch to fibre broadband, as upgrades over to the new network are not automatic. Prices for a high speed fibre broadband connection are far lower than you might imagine. In fact, sometimes the cost can be even less than a standard broadband connection.
The latest figures show that around 6,250 premises across West Dunbartonshire can now connect to fibre broadband as a direct result of the Digital Scotland roll-out, with 6,188 premises having access to superfast coverage – more will follow. This figure is in addition to the premises in the area that are now able to connect to fibre broadband via the commercial roll-out.
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 roll-outs won’t be complete until the end of March 2018.
- To find out where and when fibre broadband will roll-out in your area visit http://www.scotlandsuperfast.com
- You’ll need to contact your service provider to switch to fibre broadband as this doesn’t happen automatically.
- Those who can’t be reached in the current roll-outs haven’t been forgotten. Beyond the current programme, the Scottish Government has made the commitment of delivering 100% superfast broadband across Scotland by 2021.
- In the interim, some residents may be eligible for a subsidised basic broadband installation; this is in effect a scheme to provide a better broadband connection for those on the lowest speeds ahead of any future public investment in superfast broadband. Further information is available at: https://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/where-when/the-programme/alternative-solutions
- Some areas may also be eligible for a Community Broadband Scotland scheme; this scheme is aimed specifically at communities who wish to improve broadband as a collective ahead of or in place of future public investment. CBS is there to help communities in this situation – further information is available from: www.communitybroadbandscotland.org