MORE than 61,000 households and businesses across Fife were reached by the £463 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, final programme data has revealed.

Engineers from Openreach laid more than 649km of cable across the Kingdom during the build, connecting communities including Lochgelly, Cowdenbeath and Kelty.

In total, 950,600 homes and business across Scotland have been covered by the programme since it began in 2014, including more than 150,000 extra premises than planned.

Fife Council's strategic planning spokesperson, Councillor Altany Craik, said: "Covid has of course impacted on all of us and the past year has been incredibly difficult for all communities.

"I’m in no doubt that without the DSSB improvements to our rural broadband infrastructure life would have been much harder for many residents.

“The efforts of DSSB and the providers have been immense to get us to where we are and I look forward to further investment, higher speeds and even better connectivity for all our communities across Fife.”

As it draws to a close, the huge civil engineering project was hailed as being central to tackling the exceptional national challenges imposed by the pandemic.

Across Scotland more than 16,730km of new cable was laid – enough to stretch past Brisbane in Australia.

The build included 400km of sub-sea cable to connect Scottish islands and 5,078 new fibre street cabinets, offering broadband services at speeds up to 80Mbps1.

Business Minister Ivan McKee hailed the DSSB programme as "truly outstanding" and added: “The way we work and live our lives has changed dramatically in the past year, and by providing decent, reliable broadband the DSSB programme has helped many people to work, learn and stay in touch with family and friends from their own homes.

"Across the country more than 97 per cent of homes and businesses now have access to fibre-based broadband and the transformative benefits for work and social life it offers.

“As we look towards our recovery from the impacts of the global pandemic, good connectivity will continue to be essential in helping us to renew, restart and rebuild.”

When the programme began in April 2014, only 69 per cent of households and businesses in Fife were scheduled to get fibre broadband from a commercial provider, now 99.3 per cent have access to it.

Robert Thorburn, partnership director for Openreach in Scotland, said: “Everyone at Openreach is thrilled to see the transformative effect of better broadband across Fife.

“This has been a great partnership, going much further than planned and reaching many thousands of homes which might otherwise have struggled through the pandemic."

Sara Budge, DSSB programme director, added: “It’s particularly pleasing to see this in rural areas and rural market towns and villages such as Anstruther, Cowdenbeath, Kinghorn, that without our programme would not have been able to reap the benefits of fibre broadband – particularly needed in the times we find ourselves.

“There's lots of competition out there and now that everyone is having to spend more time at home and indoors they may find they could be surfing, learning and working at much higher speeds at a similar cost to their current service. Upgrades aren’t automatic, so customers should contact one or more service providers to explore the options available to them.”

Fibre technology offers fast and reliable connections at a range of speeds and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from.

Local people can check if the new fibre services are available to them at

BT Group has invested £146 million in the rollout, with digital network subsidiary Openreach delivering it on the ground.