New Code of Practice aims to improve pace of Scotland's broadband rollout

New Code of Practice aims to improve pace of Scotland's broadband rollout

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A new Code of Practice for utility works has been set out by the Scottish government that will aim to boost the rollout of fibre broadband in the county by making it faster and cheaper to deploy the necessary infrastructure.

Under the plans, a new standardised system will be put in place that will support the use of more modern techniques for digging the trenches needed for the installation of the latest fibre cables.

This will involve narrow trenching technology, which uses trenches less than 300mm wide that reduce the time taken to undergo works, as well as reducing the need to return to  sites to repair failed deployments.

Connectivity minister at the Scottish government Paul Wheelhouse said the new Code of Practice is a result of listening to the views of the industry, which has said narrow trenching can help companies deliver broadband faster and with less disruption to local communities.

"We understand that utility companies operate in a competitive market," he continued. "They are therefore constantly looking for ways to improve their efficiency and to reduce their costs in order to keep ahead of their competition. This has led to innovation in how infrastructure, such as broadband, is deployed."

Mr Wheelhouse said the new code will enable narrow trenching to take place more consistently in a manner that protects the country's pavements and road networks, with the added benefit that it will result in the faster deployment of broadband across Scotland and a reduction in the disruption communities face during the rollout.

The new code was also welcomed by regional director for Scotland at Virgin Media Julie Agnew, who said it will give "much needed clarity for networks to be built in a fast, flexible and efficient way with minimal disruption". 

She went on to thank the Scottish government for working with the industry and creating an environment that supports the deployment of new high-speed broadband services.

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