SCOTTISH minister Fergus Ewing visited BRAG Enterprises to find out about the "amazing" difference fibre broadband has made.

He stopped by the social enterprise in Crosshill to view the benefits of faster internet access, with more than 90 per cent of Scotland now able to connect to fibre broadband.

Paul Melvin, facilities manager at BRAG, said: "The difference that fibre has made here is amazing, small businesses like Re-Employ based in the facility who struggled to upload are really benefitting. Now they can download material and their production has increased.”

Mr Ewing, the connectivity secretary for the Scottish Government, said: "Businesses like this one here in Crosshill – one of the 77,000 connected in the last six months – can now connect to their fastest-ever broadband speeds for the first time, showing our investment in digital infrastructure is paying off."

Over 750,000 Scottish homes and businesses can now connect to fibre broadband – which offers fast and reliable connections at speeds of up to 80 Mbps (mega bits per second) – thanks to the £428 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

The aim is to deliver 100 per cent superfast broadband across Scotland by 2021.

Communities with new or additional fibre deployment in the last six month period include Auchtertool, Cardenden, Lochgelly, Lochore and Kelty.

Mr Ewing added: "The programme is reaching more communities than originally planned and will continue to do so in the coming months. "However, local people need to sign up for the new, faster services with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.

"I am of course aware that many homes and businesses do not yet have access.

"Under the further R100 contract, we will be proceeding with the next phase of our pledge to enable access to broadband for every home and business to Scotland within the lifetime of this Scottish Parliament.”