Delivering faster broadband services in Scotland

A project to deliver Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband infrastructure across lowland and upland regions of Scotland promises to reach the majority of people and businesses over the coming years. NGA will be a boost for everyone who uses ICT services, including those living in remote areas, as it provides faster broadband speeds and improved digital connectivity.

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The installation programme helps to address the market’s failure to deliver broadband infrastructure to large parts of the country. It supports the Scottish Government’s goal of ensuring that 85 % of premises have access to NGA infrastructure by 2015. In fact, by the time this and complementary projects are completed, it is expected that 97 % of premises in Scotland will have access to NGA services.

The latest technology

NGA speeds are being made available by extending and upgrading the existing network, and through the use of two technologies – Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP).

FTTC provides optical fibre internet connection to roadside telecoms cabinets, usually painted green in the UK. The connection from the cabinets continues to the end user through the existing copper wire network. Although not as “future proofed” as FTTP, the fact that the signal only has to travel a short distance via copper wire does allow customers to enjoy NGA speeds. FTTP sees the fibre optic cable run from the cabinet and on to the end user, enabling very high speed and reliable broadband services.

In the vast majority of cases, FTTP and FTTC is installed in existing ducts and on existing poles. End users will require an engineer’s visit to complete the installation process. Alternative technologies – such as wireless and satellite – are being deployed to supplement the fibre network in some remote areas.

The project is expected to generate 317 jobs during implementation and 30 positions upon completion.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Next Generation Access Infrastructure - LUPS” is EUR 42 846 212, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 17 138 485 from the Operational Programme “Lowlands and Uplands of Scotland” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period. Work falls under the priority “Rural Development”.

Draft date

01/09/2015