Hundreds of thousands of homes in Scotland are to be given a broadband boost.
Properties in 60 rural towns and villages will get access to the full fibre service, which can run 15 times faster than the current UK average.
The new locations, including Aviemore, Campbeltown, Cumnock, Dunbar, Kilsyth, Peebles and Thurso, will be upgraded by Openreach.
The company hopes having access to some of the fastest broadband speeds in Europe will boost the areas’ post-Covid economic recovery.
Work is expected to get under way in many of the locations within the next 12-18 months, however some places will have to wait until 2024.
The installations are part of a wider announcement to make the new technology available to a further 3.2 million premises in the UK’s hardest to reach ‘final third’.
Robert Thorburn, Openreach’s partnership director for Scotland, said: “We’ve already upgraded hundreds of thousands of homes and business across Scotland to Full Fibre.
“As well as keeping the existing network running throughout the Covid-19 crisis, our engineers have, safely and with social distancing in place, continued building the new infrastructure to make sure that as lockdown restrictions ease, our network is there to support families, businesses and the economic recovery.
“Many Scottish households and businesses can already switch to the new technology and hundreds of thousands more will be following in the months and years ahead.”
Openreach said there were economic benefits to building full fibre in more rural areas.
A report by the Centre for Economics & Business Research revealed that connecting everyone in Scotland to full fibre broadband by 2025 would create a £5.5bn boost to the nation’s economy.
The report also revealed 37,400 people across Scotland could be brought back into the workforce through enhanced connectivity.