Broadband available to 99% of people in Scotland by end of year
The Scotsman.com is reporting that BT in Scotland have almost reached a significant milestone, which is 500,000 broadband users in Scotland. Sign-up rates are around 4,000 per week in Scotland, and by the end of the year availability should be around 99%.
One reason for the high availability is the efforts of the Scottish Executive who announced back in April 2005 an agreement with BT to enable 378 out of 399 exchanges that BT had previously decided not to enable. 148 of the exchanges are only getting a limited version of ADSL called Exchange Activate, with only a 0.5Mbps service available, and this then is only sold via a small number of providers.
It is looking that in terms of exchanges and communities with broadband that is affordable, Scotland is going to be performing better than the South East of England by the end of year. Scotland appears to have service dates set for all the remaining exchanges, but the South East still has 12 exchanges deemed unviable, and at this time no-one appears to be rushing to bring coverage to these areas. The 12 unfortunates are listed here, Wales looks to be the worst off with 399 exchanges enabled, and 34 still unviable.
Of course one fact of life with ADSL, is that as the line length increases the chances of ADSL working decrease, so anyone who claims 100% coverage is generally ignoring this fact, though with the 'no limits' rules on the 0.5Mbps and 0.25Mbps services, there is a chance that even those with a 10km long line may see an ADSL service.