54,000 more homes and businesses will be covered in the next phase of the Digital Scotland superfast broadband rollout, including remote areas in the Scottish highlands and islands.
43 places are set to benefit from much improved connectivity, including parts of the Outer Hebrides, such as Mull, Lewis and the Isle of Bute, along with Orkney, Moray, Highland, East and West Dunbartonshire, and Renfrewshire.
As well as remote islands, the highest place in Scotland will be hooked up to fibre offering up to 80Mbps speeds, namely Tomintoul in the Cairngorms National Park.
Argyll and Bute will see Lochgilphead, Campbeltown and Rothesay connected by this summer (well ahead of the 2016 date originally planned), and Stornoway on Lewis will see their superfast connections go live over the next six months (covering 5,000 premises). Orkney sees the first services go live in Kirkwall right now, with a rollout across the island happening over the next six months.
Over 216,000 homes and businesses have already been connected by the project across Scotland.
John Swinney, Deputy First Minister, commented: “We are seeing growing momentum in the roll-out of better broadband. Homes and businesses in rural communities from Lerwick in Shetland to Gretna in Dumfries and Galloway are already able to order. The project is developing a high speed fibre network which is changing the face of broadband and helping fulfil the Scottish Government’s commitment to deliver world class connectivity in Scotland by 2020.”