Over 39,000 homes and businesses across Scotland are to receive fibre broadband, under further rounds of the Digital Scotland partnership.
Fibre broadband services at speeds of up to 80Mbps will be accessible in 13 councils across Scotland by the summer, with many areas receiving high-speed technology for the first time.
Locations announced include regions of Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Angus Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council and Dundee City Council.
Areas of Fife Council, Perth and Kinross Council, Scottish Borders Council, Stirling Council, Moray Council, Argyll and Bute Council will also receive fibre broadband, the latest announcement has confirmed.
More locations will be announced throughout the life of the £410m Digital Scotland Partnership.
Consisting of two projects covering the Highlands and Islands area and the rest of Scotland, the Digital Scotland Broadband initiative is expected to benefit more than three quarters of a million homes and business premises.
Deputy first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said: ‘The scale of the challenge of delivering fibre broadband into rural Scotland is greater than any other part of the UK and indeed, much of Europe.
‘It’s fantastic news that many rural communities and businesses, from the Highlands to the Borders, will soon begin to see the benefits of high quality digital connectivity, making them more economically viable in the long term.’
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities spokesman, Cllr Stephen Hagan, said: ‘This announcement is a welcome milestone on the journey to delivery of significant improvement in the speed of broadband service to many more Scottish households and businesses and the start of the narrowing of the digital divide between rural and urban areas across Scotland.’
Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, which is the selected private sector partner, said: ‘Today is a major step forward in a journey that will transform the communications landscape of rural Scotland and help develop prosperous local economies.’