More than 4,100 homes and businesses in Clackmannanshire will be next to benefit from the arrival of high-speed fibre broadband - in the latest phase of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, as it starts to reach more rural and remote areas.
More than 455,000 Scottish homes and businesses are now able to connect to fibre broadband thanks to the partnership, and in addition to commercial deployments by the private sector.
The project is now reaching into more local areas, with Tillicoultry and Muckhart set to receive fibre broadband for the first time and additional coverage in Alva building on the existing fibre network there.
The first connections are expected to go live in the Spring of next year, as engineers from BT's local network business Openreach continue work on the ground.
Some of the latest homes and businesses will be served after additional engineering work on so-called 'exchange only' lines which run directly from the exchange to households and businesses - bypassing the usual road-side cabinets which are integral to the fibre rollout.
Engineers will rearrange the existing network and lay hundreds of metres of cable to reroute these lines through new road-side cabinets.
Fibre broadband enables multiple users in a home or business to access the internet, download and share large files at the same time at download speeds of up to 80 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps*. As the higher speeds become available, anyone interested in signing up for fibre-based services should contact their broadband service provider.
Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: "It is great to see smaller communities starting to benefit from our programme, while announcing that more exchanges will be included. The project is developing a high speed fibre network which is changing the face of broadband. By reaching out to those who would not have been covered through the commercial market - in towns and into some of our more rural villages like Muckhart - we are ensuring that the connections which are made will bring many benefits to the Scottish people at home and in business."
The Digital Scotland rollout consists of two projects. One is led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) for its region and the other covers the rest of Scotland.
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: "The Digital Scotland rollout has now passed more than half the homes and business premises currently included in our plans and it's fantastic that our engineers are now reaching into some smaller, rural communities, which have so much to gain.
"From this point on, our roll-out becomes increasingly challenging. We'd like communities to be aware this means our plans may sometimes have to change, but we'll continue to work hard to maintain the great progress to date and bring fast fibre to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.
"BT is determined to make sure that Scotland remains at the forefront of the high-speed digital revolution. We're proud to be working hand in hand with our partners to deliver a truly Digital Scotland. Everyone can keep up to speed with the latest developments at www.digitalscotland.org/whereandwhen ."
Clackmannanshire Council Leader Les Sharp said: "I really am delighted to see more exchanges such as Tillicoultry and Muckhart being announced today, along with more fibre coverage for Alva. It's great to see the investment of £300,000 that Clackmannanshire Council made really start to benefit local residents."