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BT invests in superfast broadband in Scotland

BT's latest phase of investment in superfast fibre broadband will benefit more than 277,000 homes and businesses across Scotland.

Telecommunications company BT has announced 34 new exchange areas which will be targeted in the next part of its ongoing £2.5 billion investment to take fibre broadband to two-thirds of the UK by 2014.

This includes four exchange areas in Aberdeen, seven in Edinburgh, six in Glasgow and two in Dundee, as well as Alloa, Arbroath, Greenock and Kirkcaldy, and these latest upgrades are expected to be completed next year.

BT said the number of homes and businesses in the superfast network will reach 685,500, offering "vastly superior" speeds than previously available in many areas.

"This is the biggest fibre broadband announcement we've made to date in Scotland and almost doubles the number of exchange areas being upgraded," said Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland.

"Superfast broadband will be welcomed by families throughout these 34 areas because it will help improve their quality of life and leisure, and open new doors through online learning and fast access to information and services.

"It's also going to provide a huge fillip for businesses. Small and medium-sized firms will have access to big business speeds at much lower costs, allowing them to find new markets, boost their competitiveness and create new jobs."

The Openreach network features a mix of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology.

FTTC, delivered to street cabinets, offers download speeds of up to 40mbps with 10mbps upstream.

Openreach said these speeds will "roughly double" next year.

FTTP, where the fibre goes directly to homes and businesses, offers speeds of up to 100mbps, rising to 300mbps in the spring.

BT said this compares with the 6.8mbps average speed of all UK broadband, according to research by the watchdog Ofcom published in July 2011, allowing users to do more online and at the same time.

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