Mairi Gougeon gets up to speed on broadband
Mairi Gougeon has visited Openreach engineers in her constituency of Angus North and Mearns to see the digital network’s rollout of ultrafast broadband.
The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands visited the village of Aberlemno to see the new full-fibre technology and get an update on upgrades in the local community.
Around 3,700 Angus properties, including 170 businesses, now have the capability of gigabit broadband. A total of 45 per cent of properties have upgraded already to the improved connection, partly funded through the Scottish Government’s R100 scheme.
A major build has now begun in Forfar, which will give hundreds more homes connection upgrades this year. A further eight towns and villages across Angus will be upgraded under Openreach’s £15bn plan to reach 25m properties by 2026. Around 680,000 homes in Scotland can now access ultrafast broadband.
Gougeon said: “I am pleased to see the progress being made by Openreach to deliver full-fibre in my constituency. It’s vital that local people can reap the full benefits of these amazing technologies.
“This significant local investment is great news for people living and working in Angus. I recognise that Openreach is playing a significant part in getting gigabit-capable broadband to harder-to-reach homes across Scotland, including through its delivery of the Scottish Government’s R100 contracts.
“At a time when the economy is on everyone’s minds, private and public sector investment in infrastructure which can help stimulate the local economy and provide new opportunities is absolutely vital.”
Robert Thorburn, partnership director for Openreach in Scotland, said: “We welcomed the opportunity to show our latest progress and share the challenges and realities of delivering life-changing digital infrastructure. We’re committed to a balanced build which benefits both urban and rural areas. Research shows full-fibre broadband can supercharge productivity, help people into the workforce and create new employment.”
He added: “Local people may spot an increase in Openreach activity as we continue upgrades. We try hard to keep any disruption to a minimum by reusing our existing network where possible, but it’s not always straightforward. Occasionally we need to put up new poles or carry out roadworks safely, but the resulting benefits our network brings will be huge, varied and long-term for people across Angus.”