by Nicola Brown

AROUND 300 premises in Drumchapel are among the latest that can now access high-speed fibre broadband as part of a £410 million Digital Scotland roll-out.

Carol Monaghan MP is urging local people to consider the benefits, which come courtesy of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme and can be ordered through their chosen service provider.

She visited a local fibre cabinet on Southbrae Drive to explore the engineering behind the technology and hosted a digital drop-in session in her local constituency office to help constituents find out more.

She said: “Fibre broadband has an essential role to play in everyone’s lives – whether at home or in business. It’s great news that thousands of local people across Glasgow North West can now connect to this exciting technology if they choose.

“Broadband speed is a subject close to the heart of many of my constituents, and it’s good to see today the excellent progress that’s being made.

“The arrival of fibre broadband means local people and firms can do more online at faster speeds and on multiple devices and there’s lots of evidence to show it boosts the local economy.

West Scotland MSP Jamie Greene has questioned the commitment to roll-out 100 per cent broadband to homes and businesses by 2021.

The Tory raised the issue in First Minister's Questions last week with concerns about transparency over the speed and coverage of the broadband being delivered.

Audit Scotland had previously said the Scottish Government should publish more data on the issue, something Nicola Sturgeon accepted under questioning.

Mr Greene said: “There’s nothing wrong with the Scottish Government consulting the industry in this way. I hold the belief that a sensible mix of technologies from a range of suppliers may likely be the only way to reach every household and business. However, it cannot be allowed to use this an excuse for edging back on the 100 per cent commitment.

"If so many are already supposedly connected to super-fast broadband why are our mailboxes full of letters of complaint from homes and business across Scotland who are being told that so-called access to broadband means the cabinet has high speed capability but they live too far from the exchange. It’s absolutely essential this is delivered. If it is not, the SNP will again stand accused of snubbing rural Scotland in favour of the central belt.”

Thousands of households and businesses in the Glasgow North West area can now access high-speed fibre services with the Drumchapel premises marking the latest development.

According to the independent Think Broadband website, nearly 99 per cent of premises in the constituency are now able to access fibre broadband speeds of 30Mbps or above.

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme will deliver access to fibre broadband to around 95% of premises by the end of March 2018.