Openreach ultrafast broadband build reaches almost two thirds of Midlothian properties

Wednesday October 11th 2023

Openreach, Aberdeen....Pic Paul Reid

Fibre specialists Graeme Farquharson (left) and Greg Morris guide a narrow camera through underground ducts during the build.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

More than 30,000 homes and businesses across Midlothian are among one million that can now access ultrafast broadband on Openreach’s Scottish network.

The new full fibre services are now available to thousands of households and businesses in places like Dalkeith and Loanhead. Penicuik has one of the highest levels of coverage in Scotland, with more than eight out of every 10 properties able to upgrade to full fibre.

Openreach has invested more than £9 million in Midlothian’s new network so far, and is working with the Scottish and UK Governments, through the Reaching 100% (R100) programme and voucher schemes, to upgrade some of its hardest-to-reach places.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach Partnership Director for Scotland, said: “Our engineers and build partners have done an amazing job helping us bring full fibre to one million homes and businesses across Scotland.

“Local people are using more and more data every year, streaming their favourite shows, downloading the latest video games and shopping and trading online.

“Bringing fibre broadband to places like Dalkeith and Ford allows locals to enjoy all the benefits of ultrafast speeds now – and will meet their data demands decades into the future.

“The new network is not just faster, but also more reliable,” he added. “We’ve more to do, and we’re working closely with Midlothian Council to overcome challenges and reach as many homes and businesses as possible.”

The Scottish Government’s Innovation Minister Richard Lochhead said: “This is an important milestone in the drive to ensure more homes and businesses across Scotland benefit from full fibre broadband, improving vital connectivity.

“We are working with Openreach to roll-out future-proofed digital infrastructure to our rural towns and villages and this Reaching 100% build, alongside Openreach’s commercial network, will underpin economic growth and enhance communities across Scotland for decades to come.”

UK Government Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure Sir John Whittingdale said: “Thanks to UK government investment, thousands of rural homes, businesses and public buildings across Scotland now have access to first class broadband fit for the future.

“Over three quarters of premises across the UK can now access these faster speeds and with more collaboration with network builders like Openreach at a local and national level, we will see even more rural towns and villages staking their claim to this next-generation connectivity.”

The Openreach network offers the widest choice of providers, such as BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen, which means people have lots of choice and can shop for the best deals.

Local people can visit to register for updates and check their postcode to see if and when services are available from their chosen provider.

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