TENS of thousands of homes and busi-nesses in Glasgow will get access to fibre broadband early next year.

Telecom giant BT is to install high-speed internet access to three more areas of the city as part of a £2.5billion investment programme across the UK which will benefit 291,000 houses and premises north of the border.

The latest announce-ment involves 25 areas, including the Glasgow's Drumchapel, Merrylee and Provanmill, where broadband will be up-graded at 51,450 locat-ions by spring next year.

When the work is completed the number of city homes and businesses with fibre broadband will have been boosted to 170,800.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed the news. She said: "It is essential that households and busi-nesses everywhere in Scotland have access to high-speed connectivity and fibre broadband will play a key role in enhancing our digital offering."

High-speed internet connections are already available elsewhere in Glasgow, including Bridgeton, Langside, Scotstoun and Western exchanges.

Exchanges in areas such as Cranhill, Ibrox, Maryhill, Pollok, Shettleston and Springburn are being upgraded this year.

BT Scotland director Brendan Dick said: "Fast, sophisticated communications are the cornerstone of a successful community, helping local people to build their skills and knowledge and encour-aging the creation of businesses and jobs.

"This technology will transform on-line education, training and leisure."

Glasgow City Council leader Councillor Gordon Matheson said: "The upgrading of a further three exchanges across the city will drive economic growth."