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More superfast broadband for Scotland
Tuesday 27 October 2015 10:57:30 by Andrew Ferguson

The Digital Scotland project which has some £410m of funding has announced the next wave of some 20,000 premises that should benefit from the project and the project is roughly halfway to meeting its intervention target of helping 750,000 premises which has a deadline of March 2018.

Looking at how things have progressed in 2015 so far, coverage has gone from 70.4% at speeds of 30 Mbps or faster at the start of 2015 to 79.7% in October 2015. The Scottish Broadband project splits the country into two parts the Highlands and Islands which had an original goal of 84% fibre based and the Rest of Scotland with 96% fibre based, the aggregate coverage across Scotland is 84.4% (this is higher than superfast coverage as no speed filter is applied).

The areas set to benefit with the first of them going live in Spring 2016 are: Aberfoyle, Auchterhouse, Bridge Of Dun, Broughton, Cairnie, Cortachy, Dirleton, Fairlie, Finavon, Canonbie, Glenluce, Greengairs, Kinrossie, Kirkoswald, Langbank, Linlithgow, Moscow, Muir Of Fowlis, Muckhart, New Luce, Oxton, Parkgate, Philpstoun, Reston, Roxburgh, Skirling, Stichill, Temple, Tillicoultry, Torranyard, Turnberry, Tyndrum, Uplawmoor, Westruther, West Calder, West Kilbride, Whitsome, Winchburgh.

The areas Alva, Grangemouth, Livingston, Midcalder and Cumbernauld are set to get additional roll-out too. While we are sure everyone would love to have a much better idea of a go-live date for each cabinet area, these are always subject to the vagaries of the weather and with Winter approaching one cannot be sure of how many good days will be available for fibre splicing or whether engineering staff are diverted to help resolve broken lines after a bad storm.

Constituency level superfast broadband coverage in Scotland - Oct 15
(click to view larger version)
Superfast Broadband Coverage of Scotland - Oct 15 (large image)

The map above shows what we believe the coverage in Scotland is at superfast broadband speeds (30 Mbps and faster) when plotted by constituency, as with all heat maps the coverage is not uniform and with broadband will often be concentrated in the larger population areas of each constituency. This is why as well as providing the overall statistics our availability checker lets you drill down to the postcode level.

Constituency level download broadband speeds in Scotland - Sept 15
(click to view larger version)

The variation is broadband speeds observed via our speed test broadly matches the variations in coverage across Scotland and hopefully as the Digital Scotland project continues to roll-out to more premises we will see faster broadband available and thus better observed speeds. The observed speeds will never match the best calculations of what is available though as we are seeing many people elect for cheaper up to 38 Mbps packages rather than the up to 76 Mbps service even in areas where faster speeds are possible. Maybe in five years we might see people posting to complain they cannot sustain four UHD video streams even though they get a speed test of 75 Mbps, but for millions its seems they just want anything that is better than what they have now even if that is just a jump from 1.5 Mbps to 12 Mbps. We have even seen some complaints from areas where native FTTP (with its additional 200 Mbps and 300 Mbps options) is planned as other parts of an exchange have gone live with FTTC and the extra wait for FTTP is deemed too long.


Posted by GreenCatIT 12 months ago
Read the small print: "Postcodes where FTTC speeds below 30Mbps are not expected are not included in the coverage total".

So what about us poor folk, 25 miles from the centre of Edinburgh stuck on 3Mbps ADSL.

I wonder these days if ThinkBroadband are just a marketing channel for the major suppliers and will present anything that makes the ISP's look rosy?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 12 months ago
@GreenCatIT So what would you like us to change then?

Don't believe we have implied or said that everyone will get a fast speed. The checker we run highlights the postcodes that look like they are slow e.g.
Posted by GreenCatIT2 12 months ago
@Andrew, perhaps I was a bit harsh, but you are cherry picking data by presenting maps that exclude data from connections running under 30Mbps. If you want to be seen to be fair and accurate, don't cherry pick the data.

We are 4th from the bottom on your chart, with only 52% FTTC coverage, yet we are 10 minutes from the M74 and 35 minutes from Edinburgh.

The target of 96% seems a long way off from here.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 12 months ago
@GreenCatIT2 you may be misunderstanding, the speed test chart includes ALL speed tests irrespective of what speed we believe the postcode can achieve.

The 30 Mbps caveat applies only to the map image the text was within.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 12 months ago

I presume is your area, 52.4% coverage at 30 Mbps or faster, add another 1.8% for premises estimated to be between 24 and 30 Mbps, and then the longer tail of 11.9% where FTTC is available at a speed between 0 and 23.9 Mbps.

Those are calculated figures based on what is available to people, the speed test chart is an observed result based on what people have purchased and tested and that shows people starting to test FTTC connections in the area in Q4/2013.
Posted by brusuth 12 months ago
Pfft.. 25 miles. Try 3 miles from the Edinburgh City centre. (EH66PB)

Not sure why the chart is an issue.. It's pretty obvious why.
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