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Around 80,000 homes and businesses are set to benefit from the next phase of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband project, it has been revealed.

Some 67 locations across 13 local authority areas are to be included in the fibre rollout, with networks set to be upgraded by BT from spring 2015.

Fibre Optic generic

A number of locations - including Aberdour, Banchory, Dalmally and Govan - will receive super-fast broadband access for the first time.

Other areas will see extra premises connected to existing, or planned, super-fast networks.

Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister of Scotland, said the announcement was “another important milestone for the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership”.

“The scale of the challenge of delivering fibre broadband across our communities in Scotland shouldn’t be underestimated," she claimed.

But Ms Sturgeon added that engineers are working hard and "making good progress" to deliver fibre services in new areas.

"One major component - the huge sub-sea project to lay cables out to the islands - is now largely complete," she noted.

“It’s also fantastic to see the project extending into places like Joppa in East Ayrshire and Spean Bridge in the Highlands, which will benefit greatly from the economic advantages fibre broadband brings."

BT Scotland director Brendan Dick said the arrival of fibre broadband in these latest Scottish communities will be "great news" for local homes and businesses.

He claimed that fibre broadband opens up "lots of new online opportunities" for households and businesses, enabling them to make the most of the internet.

"The civil engineering project underpinning this new network is not just one of the biggest in Scotland but is among the most complex anywhere in Europe," Mr Dick stated.

He explained that dozens of extra engineers are being recruited to deploy fibre cables in rural communities, helping to shape Scotland's digital future.

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