The DSSB commitment
The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme was established to bring faster internet speeds across Scotland. It set out to achieve best value for money, maximising the reach of access to fibre broadband to 95% of homes and businesses in Scotland within the funding available. This achievement was reached in December 2017. The DSSB programme was never funded or expected to be able to reach all Scottish premises where there was market failure, however, using additional funding from the successful take up of services and efficiency and innovation savings, we've been able to extend the programme throughout 2018 and into 2019/20, connecting even more homes and businesses.
In a relatively small number of cases, plans for specific premises can change as more information on engineering complexities and related costs becomes available. Inevitably, while we are committed to reaching as many homes and businesses as we can within our available funding, this means that where the cost of providing access to fibre for some 'in scope' premises is prohibitive, we will not reach these premises through the DSSB programme. Instead, it is envisaged these premises will be reached by successor programmes.
In the meantime, there are also some alternative solutions you can look at which may improve your broadband speeds until superfast speeds are available at your address. You can find more information on this and how to apply here.
The closest connection ‘cabinet’ may be equipped and ready for fibre broadband, but your home or business may be too far from it (over 1.2 km) to benefit from the 24Mbps or above speeds. You may still experience improved speeds of 5-15Mbps thanks to fibre, but they won’t be ‘superfast’ (24Mbps or higher).
This is because the final leg of the connection to your property uses existing copper-based infrastructure – on which the broadband speed drops the further it has to travel.
To find out more, talk to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that covers your area, such as BT, Zen Internet or Sky. For a full list of ISPs that may be able to help you with a ‘long line’ service, visit our broadband comparison page.
- Download our long line factsheet
Telephone and standard broadband connections use copper cable, usually connected to a green roadside ‘cabinet’ nearby. Sometimes, though, it’s a direct connection to your local telephone exchange, called an exchange-only or ‘EO’ line. Having an exchange only line doesn’t mean that you cannot get fibre broadband, in fact thousands have benefited from fibre broadband thanks to the programme.
To connect properties to fibre broadband, engineers usually place a second ‘fibre’ cabinet next to an existing green ‘copper’ cabinet. But with EO lines, there’s no copper cabinet to connect to, so they have to build two new cabinets – one for copper, one for fibre – and then connect both to the exchange, re-arranging the lines in the process. This can be time-consuming and complicated, so it may take longer to connect you to Superfast Broadband.
- Download our EO factsheet
Many new homes have been built across Scotland since we began the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, so there are lots of new postcodes that didn’t exist when we set out our initial plans. However, we’re working hard to bring these new postcodes into the plan within the constraints of European State Aid legislation.
Many new-build sites will already have the infrastructure to make connecting to fibre broadband pretty straightforward, so we’re looking to reach as many properties as possible, as quickly as possible.
- Download our new-build properties factsheet
Other potential complications
The process of providing faster broadband to more and more properties throughout Scotland can be complex. That said, we’re doing everything we can to understand and overcome the issues as they arise – and to give you a reasonable timescale for connecting to Superfast Broadband.
Things like ‘at-capacity cabinets’, complicated planning permission, missing infrastructure, other infrastructure upgrades or maintenance schedules – all play a part.