Who Are We & What Do We Do?
What is Digital Scotland?
The aim of the Digital Scotland programme is to make fibre broadband available to as many of Scotland’s citizens and businesses as possible, who have not been connected through commercial investment, in the quickest and most efficient way, with the funding available.
In December 2017, the programme reached 95% fibre coverage across the whole of Scotland, this was a commitment that the programme set out to achieve in 2013.
In this programme we use the term fibre broadband, to describe ‘superfast’ or ‘high speed’ broadband. Fibre, Superfast, and High Speed are all names used for the next generation of broadband.
- “Superfast” under this programme was defined is being 24Mbps or above.
- The programme is delivering Next Generation Access (NGA) on an “open” network basis. This means consumers and businesses in Scotland are able to choose which Internet Service Provider (ISP) they wish to connect to and purchase a fibre broadband from.
What is the definition of Next Generation Access (NGA) vs. Next Generation Broadband?
Next Generation Access (also known as Superfast fibre access) means offering businesses or residences faster fibre speeds using the most up to date technology.
Next Generation Broadband. Broadband with speeds of more than 30Mbps (24Mbps for DSSB).
How is the fibre broadband roll-out being planned?
The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme met its aim of bringing access to fibre to 95% of premises across Scotland in December 2017. Using additional funding from the successful take-up of services and efficiency and innovation savings, we've been able to extend the programme throughout 2018/19 and into 2019/20, connecting even more homes and businesses and delivering faster speeds.
We have now finalised the plans for the remainder of our build, which will complete in 2020. As we have reached the most challenging areas, we have had to take some very difficult decisions to achieve the best impact from our investment, which includes public funding. We are now able to confirm that unfortunately this premises will not be receiving any faster speeds through the DSSB programme.
Our resources, which include public funding, aren't unlimited, so we have to prioritise funding in ways which achieve the best impact for our investment, always in partnership with our local investors. It is envisaged that successor programmes or alternative solutions will deliver faster speeds to this premises.
The UK Government has confirmed that universal high speed broadband will be delivered by a regulatory Universal Service Obligation (USO), giving everyone in the UK access to speeds of at least 10 Mbps by 2020. You can read about the UK Government's commitment to a regulatory USO here. 10Mbps is the speed that Ofcom, the independent regulator, says is needed to meet the requirements of an average family.
The Scottish Government has committed to providing 100% superfast broadband access to homes and businesses across the country through the Reaching 100% (R100) programme using the reclassified EU definition of 'superfast', which is 30Mbps and above.
Any premises unable to access superfast broadband following completion of DSSB and not in the plans of a commercial provider's roll out, will fall within scope of R100.
Find out if you will benefit from the final stage of deployment here
What is the Rest of Scotland contract?
The contract for the Rest of Scotland project was signed between the Scottish Government and BT PLC in July 2013. When combined with existing commercial roll-out, it has delivered access to fibre broadband to 95% of premises. This was achieved at the end of December 2017 and confirmed in March 2018. It is one of the highest value telecommunications infrastructure investment in Europe, and has brought fibre broadband to over 930,000 premises across Scotland.
What is the cost of this programme and public sector investment?
The Highlands and Islands (HIE) project is valued at £145.8 million with:
- £126.4 million being contributed by public bodies (Scottish Government, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Highland and Islands Enterprise and all seven local authorities that form part of the project area).
- £19.4 million being contributed by BT.
The Rest of Scotland project is valued at £264 million with:
- £157 million from public sources (Scottish Government, European Regional Development Fund, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and all 27 local authorities that form part of the rest of Scotland project area. The European funding will be used to specifically benefit Small to Medium size Enterprises).
- £106.7 million from BT.
Scotland’s 32 local authorities are jointly contributing £40 million to the programme as a whole. However, fourteen of those authorities have chosen to further supplement their funding in the rest of Scotland project, totalling £50.65 million. The local authorities that have made additional contributions are:
Aberdeenshire, Angus, Clackmannanshire, Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, Fife, Midlothian, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Perth and Kinross, Scottish Borders, South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian.
What is phase two of the DSSB programme?
In March 2017 it was announced that due to strong take up figures (members of the public ordering fibre broadband) an additional £15.6m has been re-invested back into the programme by BT.
Overall, it means an extra 23,000 premises (ROS and HEI programmes combined) will be deployed to up until 2019.
For the Rest of Scotland region, this means that an additional 17,000 across 27 local authorities will benefit from high speed broadband as a result of the £15.6 Gainshare investment being made through the Digital Scotland contract.
Premises currently in very rural areas or those not benefitting from any uplift in speed (long lines), as well as ‘new build’ premises built between 2012 and 2014, should now be able to get superfast broadband thanks to the programme. Each local authority in the ‘Rest of Scotland’ area will get further deployment up until 2019. Both phases of the programme have run concurrently.
How does Digital Scotland let the public know when an area/community now has access to ordering fibre broadband?
The Digital Scotland programme has a marketing team called the ‘Demand Stimulation’ team. They do mass marketing activities in ‘live’ areas such as mailing postcards, email, and social media campaigns.
The Community Officers in the team visit fibre broadband enabled communities and hold events to raise awareness about the benefits of your new fibre broadband service and answer any questions you may have.
Our press and communications team deal with press, media as well as engaging your local MSPs/MPs so that they are informed about the programme and developments in your local area.
If you are signed up to our ‘In the Loop’ newsletter we will let you know when your cabinet has gone live and when you are able to order fibre broadband.
I’ve received a postcard or email and I already know I can’t get fibre broadband yet – why are you sending me these things?
Sorry, we realise this can be annoying.
We send postcards and emails because it is vital to the programme and the local community that we do everything we can to inform people when they have access to ordering fibre broadband. Unfortunately the way postcode data works makes it impossible for us to send postcards and emails without including those which currently do not have access. The campaigns do reach a vast majority of those that are now ‘live’ with fibre broadband access. Please do, however, sign up for our newsletter. As well as providing the latest programme news, we will email you when you are able to order fibre broadband.
What technology is the Digital Scotland programme using?
Fibre to the Cabinets (FTTC) is the main fibre technology currently in use in the Scottish network. It uses fibre-optic cables throughout the network right up to the street cabinet. Copper wires then connect the cabinet to homes and businesses. FTTC currently offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds up to 20Mbps. Depending on their location, some premises will receive FTTP - this is where fibre-optic cables run right to the door of each house or business.
Why aren’t you rolling out FTTP everywhere?
In a word – economics. It would cost many billions more to roll out FTTP everywhere. One of the benefits of FTTC is its combination of new investment and existing infrastructure. FTTC is the next evolution in faster broadband and creates a technology roadmap for the future allowing us to evolve to better FTTC and also deploying FTTP later on. For the vast majority of people the higher speeds of FTTC will be more than adequate for some time to come.
What is the Better Broadband Scheme?
Before December 2017, the UK Government has set a target for all homes and businesses to have access to a standard broadband service of at least 2Mbps. As part of this commitment, Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) has developed a programme offering subsidised satellite broadband installation to eligible properties in Scotland.
This national scheme will contribute towards the equipment and installation costs of a satellite broadband connection. You will be able to choose from a range of services including options that provide speeds significantly greater than 2Mbps. To find out more about the scheme and how to apply please go to our National Satellite Broadband Scheme page.
I live in rural Scotland and your programme is supposed to be delivering superfast broadband to us rural people but we still don’t have it and you are running campaigns in big cities like Glasgow!
Our programme aims to bring faster speeds to as many people - who were not already included in commercial roll-out plans - as possible, with the funding available. Many of you are in rural locations but some live in suburban areas.
The project builds on existing infrastructure which through commercial deployment is often located in urban areas. As the project progresses more and more infrastructure will continue to be built in more rural areas. The nature of deploying fibre broadband in rural areas is more time-consuming, complex and costly.
Often the issue is that premises are serviced by exchange only or EO lines. However, these are included in the programme and so far over 241,500 rural premises with EO lines have gained access to faster broadband through the programme. So, yes, we are rolling out to both urban and rural areas, as quickly as possible with the funding available.
Another factor which creates difficulties for us to deliver superfast broadband is when you are on a long line. Areas or premises which we are unable to reach are often due to long lines. This is a technological limitation issue – not as a result of not being included in programme planning. You can read more about long lines here: What is the technology limitation of fibre broadband and distance from cabinet?
What is the difference between ‘commercial’ roll-out and the Digital Scotland ‘intervention’ area roll-out of fibre broadband?
The ‘commercial’ programme is the fibre roll out funded and delivered by commercial infrastructure providers such as Openreach and Virgin. The Digital Scotland intervention is a partnership between the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, all Scottish local authorities, BDUK (part of the UK Government), European Regional Development Fund and Openreach to provide access to fibre broadband for the majority of premises not covered by any commercial roll-out – these areas are referred to as ‘intervention’ areas. When combined with the commercial rollout, more than 95% of Scotland now has fibre broadband available.
Why doesn’t Digital Scotland provide fibre?
The Digital Scotland programme is not a service provider, we deploy the fibre and cannot recommend or promote one Internet Service Provider over another.
Where, When & How
Where and when can I get fibre broadband?
The Digital Scotland programme is a massive undertaking. With a programme of this size, it’s not possible for everyone to receive the new service at the same time. The roll out has three stages:
Stage 1 - Survey, design and detailed planning
Stage 2 - Infrastructure build
Stage 3 - Services becoming available
Our map provides an indicative view of our plans to roll-out fibre across Scotland. We are constantly reviewing them to ensure we are delivering an efficient roll-out, maximising coverage and deploying as quickly as possible. This means the map is subject to change as we carry out further planning work and surveys. To reflect any changes, we will update the map on a regular basis so please keep checking.
Before using the map please read the map usage guide before ticking “Accept”. Please note: until structures are built and infrastructure has been delivered to an area, it’s not possible to be sure when, or if, fibre broadband will be available. This is for a variety of reasons which include technical, planning, nature, landscape, local utilities and network topology. Deployment plans are NEVER guaranteed, all map responses and enquiries responses offer our best indicative view at that time only.
To keep you informed we make regular press announcements and you can sign up to our newsletter to read up on our latest programme-wide activities. We will let you know when you are able to order fibre broadband in your area.
Please note that not all of one area will go live on the same day and in some areas not all premises will gain coverage under the current roll out of the programme. If fibre broadband has already started to become available in your area but you can't get it yet, sign up for our newsletter and we will email you when you are able to order fibre broadband. You will also receive our general newsletter with latest news about the programme.
The map on the DSSB website gave the impression that I would be getting fibre broadband. It said I was ‘In Scope’?
Until June 2019, the information on the where and when checker provided an indicative view of how we planned services to be rolled out across the country. Engineering plans and delivery timescales depend on many factors.
In a relatively small number of cases, plans for specific premises can change as more information on engineering complexities and related costs becomes available.
As anticipated at this final stage of the DSSB programme, we are now reaching the most complicated, challenging and expensive premises.
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, unfortunately we will not reach these premises through the DSSB programme.
It is envisaged that successor programmes or alternate solutions will reach these programmes. Find out more about these here.
Why can’t you tell me a specific date for my cabinet?
The DSSB programme was designed to maximise the reach of fibre infrastructure across Scotland. As of June 2019 over 930,000 premises and counting have access so far. As anticipated at this final stage of the DSSB programme, we are now reaching the most complicated, challenging and expensive premises.
The DSSB programme was never funded or expected to be to able 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 2019 and into 2020, connecting as many homes and businesses which were in our intervention area as we can.
There are robust financial measures in place to ensure that funding is invested responsibly within our defined intervention area. Our resources, which include public funding, aren't unlimited, so we have had to prioritise funding in ways which achieve the best impact for our investment, always in partnership with our local investors.
Although these premises in your community will not receive faster speeds through the DSSB programme, the Scottish Government has committed to providing 100% superfast broadband access to homes and businesses across the country through its Reaching 100% (R100) programme. Any premises unable to access superfast broadband following completion of DSSB and is not in the plans of a commercial providers roll out, will fall within the commitment to 100%. In the meantime, there are some alternative solutions you can look at which may help you improve your broadband speeds until superfast speeds are available at your address.
How do I get fibre broadband?
When fibre broadband becomes available to you, you will need to place an order with your choice of Internet Service Provider.
There are three simple steps to getting fibre broadband:
- Check you can get fibre broadband here
- Contact your choice of Internet Service Provider (ISP) that offers fibre broadband packages.
- Check your choice of Internet Service Provider offers their fibre broadband product in your area and and ask what broadband speed they predict you will get – then sign up.
Why do you publicise exchange areas as ‘live’ (enabled with fibre broadband) when the deployment in the area hasn’t been completed?
It is important that as soon as people have the opportunity to benefit from fibre broadband they are made aware of it and are able to check if they can place an order.
We’re keen to ensure that as and when people can get fibre they are informed. Even if deployment has just started it still means a significant number of you can place a fibre broadband order.
How was / is it decided to remove premises from deployment?
In most cases premises may have had a structure (cabinet /PON) modelled against them, however they would not have a scheduled delivery date.
Engineering plans and delivery timescales depend on many factors. Our plans are constantly evolving and as we carry out detailed surveys and planning work.
The programme's resources, which include public funding, aren't unlimited. We have to prioritise funding in ways which achieve the best impact for our investment, always in partnership with our local investors. There are robust financial measures in place to ensure that funding is invested responsibly within our defined intervention area.
We operate within our Value for framework and principles of fairness and parity across all our rural Local Authorities. In circumstances where the cost to deploy becomes prohibitive it is highly likely that we would have to proactively select and remove premises, currently planned for DSSB deployment, from the programme. 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 premises is prohibitive, we will not reach these premises through the DSSB programme.
The maps and timetable are therefore subject to change as we carry out further planning and surveys.
How do I check if I can get fibre broadband?
To check that you can receive fibre broadband please input your phone number or postcode into the interactive map by clicking below.
How does it affect my current broadband contract?
If fibre broadband is available, you will need to check your current broadband contract. Typically, customers sign up for contract periods (normally 12/18 months) and you may need to complete this agreement before switching broadband providers. If you are still within your contract, most broadband providers will allow you to upgrade to a fibre broadband package.
How do I find out which broadband package is best for me?
The Digital Scotland programme is responsible for upgrading the infrastructure that provides your broadband connection. We are unable to offer any advice on the best broadband package for you, or which Internet Service Provider (ISP) you should sign up with. There are many comparison websites that allow you to compare packages. Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries provides a broadband price comparison service here.
How do I place my order?
Once you have selected the Internet Service Provider (ISP) of your choice, you will need to get in touch with them to place your order. This can usually be done by telephone or by using the live chat facility found on many websites. Your ISP will supply you with an installation date and details of what you will need to do to get up and running. They can also provide you with an indication of the speeds you’re likely to get – if they don’t, ask them for this information. If you believe you have fibre broadband access and the ISP you are speaking to disagrees (will not allow you to order fibre broadband) – try ordering through a different fibre broadband ISP.
BT is part of the Digital Scotland partnership – does this mean I have to use them as my Internet Service Provider?
No. Because most Internet Service providers (ISPS) are connected by the Openreach network this means you are able to choose your Internet Service Provider.
My address/ telephone number/postcode is not recognised on your ‘Where and When’ checker – why?
There are some addresses and telephone numbers that the Openreach database may not recognise. This could be because your existing service provider does not use the Openreach network (for example, Virgin Media) or uses something other than the telephone number or address as an identifier. In this situation you should contact your Internet Service Provider to discuss the availability of fibre services in your area.
My cabinet has been delayed, and now appears to have been moved back. Why has this happened?
Deploying fibre cabinets is a complex engineering challenge. It involves not only provision of fibre, but availability of power connections. In some case planning consent for the cabinet itself, road closures, traffic management permissions and space within the duct network to make the necessary connections.
In a small number of cases we encounter problems which take time to resolve and can delay the cabinet by, sometimes, several months. In most cases these delays are caused by either power provision (we cannot use domestic or street lighting power sources) and local planning permission. We work closely with the utilities companies and local authorities to minimise such delays. In these instances we have moved the cabinets completion dates to the end of the programme. By moving the end date, this allows us more time to seek solutions for these cabinets, and, where possible, activate them before the end date given.
Why has my status changed from accepting orders to another category on the ‘where and when’ checker?
The information on the where and when checker provides an indicative view at exchange level of how we currently think services will be rolled out across the country. Engineering plans and delivery timescales depend on many factors. Our plans are constantly evolving and as we carry out this detailed survey and planning work across an area there may be some cabinets that will not be upgraded to fibre broadband. The maps and timetable are therefore subject to change as we carry out further planning and surveys.
If you haven’t done so already, you can join our mailing list here. We will then keep you updated with the latest news on the project and email you when fibre broadband is available in your area to let you know that you can upgrade.
I live/work in Highlands and Islands – where do I look for information?
Highlands and Islands Enterprise entered into a contract with BT PLC in March 2013 to deliver access to fibre broadband to around 84% of homes and businesses in Highlands and Islands by the end of 2016, including commercial roll-out. .For information on where and when you can get fibre broadband in Highlands and Islands go to: http://www.hie.co.uk/digital
I live in a city centre - does your programme cover me?
If you live in the centres of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh you may not form part of the ‘intervention area’ for the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme. The ‘intervention area’ is the legally defined area where SG are permitted to invest public funding in compliance with European State Aid legislation. This means that these city centre areas are not within the scope of this programme.
During the process for DSSB to gain State Aid approval from the European Commission, the UK Government stated that the DSSB programme should focus on “rural” deployment. As a result, the city centres for these three Scottish cities were removed from the scope of the DSSB programme. The UK government put in place a separate programme for these city centres.
What Is It?
What is superfast broadband?
Superfast, Fibre and High Speed are all names used for the next generation of broadband. It’s also sometimes referred to as “faster broadband” or “next generation broadband”. It differs from basic broadband in that data transfer speeds are faster. So, if you have high speed broadband in your home or business, it’s much easier to perform tasks that involve a lot of data – like watching films or downloading large files. The type of high speed broadband this programme is rolling out is ‘fibre broadband’ using Fibre to the Cabinets (FTTC) and Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) technologies.
Why should I sign up for fibre broadband?
Fibre broadband improves the quality of online experiences. At home, it means everyone in the family can go online at the same time. Whether it’s downloading music in minutes or watching catch-up TV, streaming HD or 3D movies in the few minutes it takes to make popcorn, or posting photos and videos to social networking sites in seconds. Find out more about the benefits of superfast broadband for homes.
How much does fibre broadband cost?
Ofcom offers advice on managing broadband costs. It costs less than you may think! In fact some people even find it’s cheaper than their current broadband service - which often offers slower broadband speeds.
Are there different types of fibre broadband? And what is the difference between them?
Yes, there are two types called Fibre to the Cabinets (FTTC) and Fibre to the Premise (FTTP). FTTP is a pure fibre connection from your home to the exchange. FTTC provides a fibre path between the cabinet near you and the exchange. The final leg uses the existing copper network between your home and the cabinet. Both solutions can deliver fibre broadband speeds of 24Mbps and more.
What is Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP)?
Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) is a pure fibre broadband connection that runs all the way from your local exchange right to your home or business. Where available, the local network is able to support download speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps (or one Gigabit) and 220Mbps upload. (The internet service providers (ISPs) will offer different packages with different speeds so remember to shop around and find the deal which is right for you).
FTTP requires a little more work for the internet service providers and Openreach to set up than other forms of broadband, so it can take longer.
Depending on your premises you will be connected to the network and have your service delivered either by underground or overhead cables running back to the exchange.
The DSSB programme is not involved with the installation of your fibre service to your property after we have provided the fibre infrastructure. That is an arrangement you must make with the internet service provider (ISP) of your choice.
The following FAQs have been included in order to provide you with a better understanding of the process involved, however you are advised to seek clarity from your internet service provider before entering into an agreement with them.
Is Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) installation different to Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC)?
Yes. To deliver a fibre cable direct into your home, rather than to the street cabinet, requires a different installation process. Most of the differences will be managed by the Openreach engineer so you don't need to worry about the work required.
The main difference you will notice is that the engineer may fit a small box to the outside of your property. This is where the fibre cable will enter your home. Openreach will run a fibre cable from the box outside your property into the fibre optical network termination unit (ONT), this is the box that converts the light signals back into digital data that can be sent across your home network. Openreach will work with you to install the ONT inside your home in a convenient location. The cable can be up to 30m in length. The ONT is then connected to your home or business network router where the data can be used by all of your network devices.
Please note, the 30m fibre cable cannot go under carpets or bend tightly around walls because it contains an actual fibre strand to deliver your superfast broadband speed. The engineer will discuss the options you have for installation on the day to help you find the best place for your new equipment. It saves time if you know where you would like this positioned ahead of the engineer's visit.
How do I order Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP)?
If you are in a FTTP area (you can check if you are in an FTTP area here), Digital Scotland are working with Openreach to install FTTP up to the street/pole outside your property. To benefit from FTTP you will then need to contact an internet service provider (ISP) to get FTTP connected to your front door and installed in your home. All orders will be subject to survey.
Not all internet service providers offer an FTTP service, so you might be informed by your ISP that an upgrade is not available. In this instance you may need to consider changing providers.
Checking out the range of ISP offers and placing an order is similar to FTTC. However, it is likely your choice will be more limited until more ISPs begin to offer FTTP. To compare broadband providers have a look here.
What happens before and on installation date?
When placing an order, the internet service provider (ISP) will provide you with dates to tell you when an engineer will come round to carry out surveys and tests.
In the early stages of an order, a site survey may be required. This is to investigate what work needs to be carried out in order to connect FTTP up to your front door.
During this survey, Openreach may be looking for duct blockages (if your site is fed through underground ducts). If this is the case, and they find no blockages, you may see that they've coiled up some cable where the duct comes out of the ground next to your house, in preparation for your appointment date to install the fibre in your home. If they do find duct blockages, or other issues during the survey - don't worry, no work will be carried out without your permission and until you agree with any costs that may be associated with this. You shouldn't have to be around when they do the survey. Openreach will communicate what they've found via your Internet Service Provider, but please keep in mind that you may see an Openreach engineer on your property doing these external checks a few days after you've placed your order. Your service provider will talk to you about this when you place your order.
The installation for FTTP will take place in two stages:
Stage 1: External Work: Bringing the fibre cable to your property.
There is no requirement for you to be present or at home for this part of the installation process, provided the engineer has access to the outside of your property.
Stage 2: Internal Work: Engineer appointment to complete the fibre installation inside your home.
The engineer will bring the fibre into your home and fit your fibre optical network termination unit (ONT) and may install the ISP router in locations agreed with you. Both the ONT and router will each require their own power socket.
You will need to be at home for this part of the installation. The engineer will need to have access to the inside of your home to fit your fibre equipment.
The appointment could last between two and four hours, depending on the complexity of the work they have to do to get the fibre network to your front door and to the location in your house where you want the equipment installed.
When do I book the engineer appointment?
As you need to be at home for the duration of the appointment, you will be asked for your availability when you place your order. An appointment slot is reserved for you which will be confirmed by your ISP sales agent who will contact you to confirm the time/date of the appointment before they finalise your order.
If they are unable to contact you, they may arrange for the first available appointment time (taking your availability information into consideration) and they may send you an email confirming the date.
It is important to note that all orders are subject to survey.
Why do I need an Openreach optical network termination unit (ONT)?
The ONT converts the light signal into a digital data signal that your home network router can understand. Due to current fibre optic technology standards, the equipment at both ends of the fibre optic light signal in the exchange and your home need to be from the same manufacturer.
Where will the engineer install all this new equipment?
The optical network termination unit (ONT) cannot be connected to existing extension sockets throughout your home because these can't carry the light signal as they're copper, rather than fibre optic. The ONT is effectively a brand new socket into which your ISP's router is connected.
The engineer will install the new equipment for you, and will do his or her best to ensure it's in the most convenient place for your needs.
What speed will I get with Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP)?
Openreach will provide you with a fibre cable direct to your home that is technically capable of running a full speed of up to 1Gig, depending on the service that you've purchased from your ISP and the services they can provide.
Not all ISPs currently offer a FTTP service, but those that do are currently offering speeds of up to 330Mbps, with a guaranteed minimum speed of 100Mbps.
The speed that you purchase is the speed that you'll be able to get.
You will need to select the relevant product from your chosen internet service provider (ISP) to benefit from the fastest speeds the network can offer.
However, the speed you actually experience may be lower depending on the devices that you choose to connect and how you connect them. A wired connection, using the port labelled 'GigE' offers you the maximum speed. If you use wireless, this may limit the speed you experience because of the limitations of wireless within the home.
Other factors can also impact the actual speed you experience; including the type of website you are trying to view, how many other users are visiting that website and what else is happening on the Openreach and Service Provider network at the same time.
All of these issues are common to all forms of broadband.
Fibre is in my area but I can't order, why?
This programme offers two types of fibre delivery, Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP). Your property may be connected via FTTC, which means you are connected to a fibre enabled green box in your street, and as such we would not provide an additional FTTP solution. Or it may be a case that your property is proving challenging for both FTTC and FTTP solutions, and you may need to look at an alternative solution such as mobile or satellite broadband. More information on alternative solutions can be found here: https://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/how-can-i-get-it/alternative-solutions/.
Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) is in my area, but my provider says I can't have it, why?
At this moment in time there is a limited number of internet service providers (ISP's) offering this service.
The list is growing, but you may need to consider switching provider if you want this service.
I have been told I need to get a survey as part of the Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) order process, why is this?
This is to investigate what work needs to be carried out in order to get FTTP up to your front door.
During this survey, Openreach may be looking for duct blockages if your site is fed through underground ducts. If this is the case, and they find no blockages, you may see that they've coiled up some cable where the duct comes out of the ground next to your house, in preparation for your appointment date to install the fibre in your home. If they do find duct blockages, or other issues during the survey - don't worry no work will be carried out without your permission, and until you agree with any costs that may be associated with this. You shouldn't have to be around when they do the survey. Openreach will communicate what they've found via your Internet Service Provider, but please keep in mind that you may see an Openreach engineer on your property doing these external checks a few days after you've placed your order. Your service provider will talk to you about this when you place your order.
How much does Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) cost?
The cost of broadband services can vary depending on the provider. You can check out the Ofcom comparison site here: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/advice/ofcom-checker.
Who can I call to get Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP)?
If your property is enabled for FTTP, you will need to contact one of the providers who can offer this service. Find more information on the Ofcom comparison website here: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/advice/ofcom-checker.
Will I get charged if work has to be carried out on my land/ garden during the installation of Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP)?
Your internet service provider will discuss this with you directly and it will be identified if you need to have cable laid within your property boundaries.
If I move house can I bring my Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) service with me?
That would depend on what type of technology your new property will use to connect to the fibre network. It will be important for you to consider this as part of your decision to move to that new property.
My friend has Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) and didn't need a survey, why is this?
Every order is different. Your friend will either have an existing overhead fibre connection installed, so Openreach could have already carried out a survey beforehand. Or, underground ducting is already in place, and there are no issues in enabling the fibre cables to be connected to their property.
I am moving into a new build, will I get Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP)?
That depends on what provisions have been made by your builder. However, all new builds over a certain size, that have started the communications planning process after 1 April 2018 will be planned with FTTP, rather than copper. This date applies where the site developers first started working with Openreach to deliver infrastructure, not when your house was actually built.
I don't want to change provider, and my internet service provider (ISP) does not offer Fibre-to-the Premises (FTTP), why can I not have Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC)?
You will need to find out FTTC is available to you. You can do this by checking our interactive map here.
If it has not been possible for us to deliver you a FTTC solution under this programme and if you do not want to switch providers to get FTTP, then you may need to look at an alternative solution that will best suit your needs, such as mobile or satellite broadband or other options offered by your ISP. More information on alternative solutions can be found here: https://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/how-can-i-get-it/alternative-solutions/.
I’ve been told I’m connected to an ‘Exchange Only (EO) line’ – what does that mean?
The vast majority of UK premises are connected to a green roadside cabinet which then connects to the local exchange. However, a small proportion of business and consumer properties are served directly by the local exchange rather than by a green cabinet – these are called “Exchange Only” lines. It can prove more challenging and time-consuming to bring fibre broadband to properties served by EO lines.
EO lines are included in the roll out for Digital Scotland. The solution used to provide fast fibre broadband may, however, vary from exchange to exchange. For example, a new cabinet may need to be installed to provide fibre to cabinet technology or a fibre may be provided to your premises directly, known as fibre to the premises.
Why Can't I Get It?
What if I’m not in the Commercial or Digital Scotland programme to get fibre broadband?
Recently the UK Government has committed to making access to broadband speeds of 10Mbps a legal right by 2020. You can find out more about the plans here. The Scottish Government has also committed to delivering access to broadband speeds of at least 30 Mbps to all homes and businesses in Scotland. You can find out more about it here.
Was the DSSB programme not designed so that everyone can get superfast broadband?
The DSSB programme was designed to maximise the reach of fibre infrastructure across Scotland. As of June 2019, over 930,000 premises and counting have access so far.
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 2019 and into 2020. This has allowed us to connect more homes and businesses who were in scope to receive fibre broadband.
There are robust financial measures in place to ensure that funding is invested responsibly within our defined intervention area. Our resources, which include public funding, aren't unlimited, so we have had to prioritise funding in ways which achieve the best impact for our investment, always in partnership with our local investors.
Although these premises in your community will not receive faster speeds through the DSSB programme, the Scottish Government has committed to providing 100% superfast broadband access to homes and businesses across the country through its Reaching 100% (R100) programme. Any premises unable to access superfast broadband following completion of DSSB and not in the plans of a commercial provider's roll out, will fall within the commitment to Reaching 100%.
In the meantime, there are some alternative solutions you can look at which may improve your broadband speeds until superfast speeds are available at your address.
The map on the DSSB website gave the impression that my location would be getting fibre broadband, saying they were ‘In Scope’?
In a relatively small number of cases, plans for specific premises have had to 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. It is envisaged that successor programmes or alternate solutions will reach these programmes
Until June 2019, the information on the where and when checker provided an indicative view of how we planned services to be rolled out across the country.
Engineering plans and delivery timescales depend on many factors. Our plans are constantly evolving and as we carry out detailed surveys and planning work across an area there may be some cabinets that will not be upgraded to fibre broadband. The maps and timetable are therefore subject to change as we carry out further planning and surveys.
Why is there not 100% superfast broadband coverage?
The DSSB programme was designed to maximise the reach of fibre infrastructure across Scotland. Thanks to the programme, over 930,000 premises and counting have access, with 94.7% of those premises able to access superfast speed.
Subsequently, the Scottish Government committed to providing superfast broadband access speeds of at least 30Mbps to every home and business in Scotland.
Unique in the UK, the Reaching 100% (R100) programme builds on the success of the DSSB programme. The £600m procurement for R100 was launched in December 2017 with a focus on ensuring that every part of Scotland will be within reach of accessible fibre, underpinning digital connectivity and economic growth for decades to come.
More information on the procurement approach and aligned activity can be found here.
The UK Government has confirmed that universal high speed broadband will be delivered by a regulatory Universal Service Obligation (USO), giving everyone in the UK access to speeds of at least 10 Mbps by 2020. You can read about the UK Government's commitment to a regulatory USO here.
Don't I have a right to broadband?
The UK Government has committed to making access to broadband speeds of 10Mbps a legal right by 2020. You can find out more about the plans here. The Scottish Government has also committed to delivering access to broadband speeds of at least 30 Mbps to all homes and businesses in Scotland. You can find out more about it here.
What if the exchange was upgraded as part of the commercial roll-out but I still can’t get fibre broadband?
Some areas within commercially enabled exchanges were not upgraded as part of Openreach’s commercial fibre roll-out programme or other commercial roll-outs. In the beginning most of these areas became in scope under the Digital Scotland programme and fibre was and is being deployed to them as part of this programme. Sometimes commercial plans haven’t yet been delivered – we cannot provide information on other roll-out programmes. If your area is part of commercial plans then you need to speak to the commercial provider in regards to what’s happening.
What is the technology limitation of fibre broadband and distance from cabinet?
The speed delivered to your home is dependent on its distance from the cabinet. You will get a lower speed, the further your home is from the cabinet. This is because the last part of the Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) service uses the copper telephone line into your home. The copper line needs to be less than 1.2km long to deliver “superfast” speeds (24Mbps or more).
I live in a new-build house – am I in the Digital Scotland roll-out of fibre broadband?
Developers have the opportunity to invite Openreach or a commercial provider of their choice, to lay fibre at time of build but we appreciate this doesn’t always happen. The Digital Scotland Programme will only include your area if your property was built before 2012. This was the cut-off point under a European State Aid ruling for what premises can and cannot be included in our eligible intervention area.
Our programme can only intervene in areas where market failure can be demonstrated and for new-build properties this aspect cannot be realistically demonstrated. Thanks to phase 2 of the programme, many ‘new builds’ will be included in the deployment.
If you are not able to benefit from the DSSB programme, your next step could also be to contact Openreach and Virgin to ask if your premises are in their superfast broadband roll-out plans.
I've contacted my Internet Service Provider and they have told me I can't have fibre broadband even though I know my cabinet has been connected. What can I do?
Once an area had been enabled for fibre broadband, the services available to you are dependent on what each Internet Service Provider (ISP) chooses to offer. They may not make fibre broadband services available immediately. Your best option is to shop around – if your ISP isn’t offering the service of your choice, get in touch with other providers to see what they offer. More information is available on our ‘Where & When’ page.
I am connected to a fibre enabled cabinet and get less than 2Mbps. I am told that I am not able to benefit from better speeds because my line is too far from my cabinet. Does your programme have an obligation to provide me with at least 2Mbps?
No, not with fibre broadband. Subject to funding, our programme’s aim is to provide fibre broadband to as many people (business and residences) across Scotland who have not been included in commercial roll-out plans The ‘everyone with access to at least 2Mbps’ was a UK Government target for all homes and businesses to have access to a standard broadband service of at least 2Mbps.
The UK Government has now committed to making access to broadband speeds of 10Mbps a legal right by 2020. You can find out more about the plans here. The Scottish Government has also committed to delivering access to broadband speeds of at least 30 Mbps to all homes and businesses in Scotland by the end of 2021. You can find out more about it here.