Thousands of people living and working in Fife’s East Neuk villages will no longer have to endure one of the region’s worst “dead spots” for internet access.
Instillation of the latest fibre broadband will come as an early Christmas present for those living in Lundin Links, Lower Largo, Anstruther, Cellardyke, Pittenweem and Kilrenny, who have struggled with poor connectivity.
Broadband provider Openreach, which has been installing gigabit-capable full fibre broadband to remote Kingdom communities as part of its £12 billion plan, says its installation in north-east Fife is nearing completion.
Around 90% of East Neuk addresses now have access, with the remainder due to follow early in the new year.
Robert Williamson, Openreach’s chief engineer for Fife, said: “We set out to bring better broadband to as much of Lower Largo, Lundin Links and the Anstruther area as possible, and we’ve made really good progress.
“Copper has served us well for the last 100 years but it’s coming to the end of its working life.
“Full fibre is the next generation of internet technology and this upgrade will transform people’s internet experience.”
Lundin Links resident Louise Robb, who runs a business consultancy and coaching practice with clients in more than 50 countries worldwide, was one of the first get connected.
She said: “Unbeknown to me at the time, getting full fibre broadband in early in 2020 was a lifesaver.
“It meant I was able to continue running my organisational development consultancy through the pandemic as well as co-ordinating online zoom meetings to serve our community charity.
“We just could not have done this so effectively – if at all – on the old broadband.”
East Neuk and Landward councillor Bill Porteous welcomed the improvements, saying it was like moving from night to day in terms of quality.
He added: “For so long communities have had to put up with poor, and at times, non-existent broadband so this will make a huge difference to people’s lives.
“Now more than ever as we live through such uncertain and difficult times, is it vital that homes and businesses have the ability to stay connected.
Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP Jenny Gilruth added: “Having access to reliable, fast full fibre connectivity will give residents and businesses a much-needed boost.
“It demonstrates that where there’s a will there’s a way to get rural and coastal areas well connected.”