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More than 1.5 million households and businesses across Scotland are now able to connect to fibre broadband, BT has revealed.

This latest milestone has been achieved through a combination of BT’s commercial rollout and the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership.

This is backed by the Scottish and UK governments, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund.

To date, engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network business, have laid 4,500km of fibre cable around the country and built more than 4,700 roadside green cabinets.

John Swinney, the Scottish Government’s Deputy First Minister, welcomed the 1.5 million landmark, describing it as "good news" for communities across the country.

"We are still in the early stages of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, and without it thousands of Scottish homes and businesses simply wouldn’t have had access to high-speed technology," he stated.

"It’s a fundamental part of the Scottish Government’s aim to deliver world-class connectivity by 2020, enabling people across Scotland to connect anytime, anyplace, anywhere using any device."

Ed Vaizey, UK Digital Economy Minister, said he is "delighted" that 1.5 million homes and businesses have now got access to a fast and reliable internet connection.

He noted that the UK government is investing £100 million in super-fast broadband for Scotland and its rollout has already reached more than 200,000 properties in rural areas.

BT Scotland Director Brendan Dick claimed the broadband provider has been "a driving force" in transforming Scotland’s broadband landscape.

He explained that Openreach engineers passed another 10,000 households with fibre technology every week last year, ensuring more people can take advantage of next-generation connectivity.

"We’ve recruited hundreds of extra engineers and invested hundreds of millions of pounds through our own commercial fibre broadband programme and the Digital Scotland partnership," Mr Dick added.

"It’s vital that people embrace the digital revolution and make the most of the new infrastructure."

Under current rollout plans, 85 per cent of Scottish homes and businesses will have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2015-16.

This figure is set to increase to 95 per cent by 2017-18.

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