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Fibre boost for Kilbirnie thanks to Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband

Press Release   •   Feb 19, 2018 11:00 GMT

Openreach's Robert Thorburn (L) and Digital Scotland's Brenda Conway (centre) celebrate the rollout of fibre broadband in Kilbirnie with the Radio City Association team.

More than 900 homes and businesses in the Kilbirnie area are now able to connect to high-speed fibre broadband through the £428M Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

The Digital Scotland team was joined by Allan Wilson and his team from community group, Radio City Association, to celebrate fibre availability in the town last week.

The local premises are among more than 870,000 homes and businesses across Scotland which are now able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout.

Other areas in North Ayrshire to benefit from the rollout, led by the Scottish Government, include Skelmorlie, Kilwinning and parts of Irvine as well as recent additional coverage in places like Dalry, Beith and West Kilbride. More local coverage will follow as engineers from Openreach – Scotland’s digital network business - continue work on the ground.

Local people can check the Digital Scotland website - scotlandsuperfast.com - to find out if they are able to access the latest fibre broadband technology. People need to sign up with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.

Radio City is a community organisation with numerous facilities that attract a range of local people, such as a café and fitness facilities.

Allan Wilson from Radio City Association said: “It was a pleasure to join the Digital Scotland team to celebrate the availability of fibre broadband in Kilbirnie last week. It's good to see this project reaching more communities and giving an increasing number of homes and businesses, like ours, the chance to connect to high-speed broadband.”

Councillor Alex Gallagher, Cabinet Member for Economy said: “I welcome the news and the benefits high speed broadband can bring to Kilbirnie's local residents and businesses. The difference that fibre broadband can make is remarkable and will have a positive impact whether you work from home or run a business."

Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps1 and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from. Whether you own a business, work from home or want to keep in touch with friends and family, fibre broadband enables multiple users to connect to the internet at high speeds and get better, faster access to online services.

Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It is fantastic to see fibre broadband benefiting local residents and businesses in and around Kilbirnie.

“I would like to thank Allan Wilson for joining us. It is heartening to see that fibre broadband is now available in so many rural communities.

Digital Scotland funding partners include the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, BT Group, the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund

BT Group is investing £126 million in the rollout, and the total project value includes around £18 million which is being reinvested back in to the programme during 2018 as a result of stronger than expected early take-up.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach fibre partnership director for Scotland, said: “Thousands of people and businesses across North Ayrshire now have the opportunity to access their best-ever broadband speeds when they sign up with a service provider.

“Industry regulator Ofcom has highlighted that many consumers could be accessing significantly faster speeds by upgrading2, and I‘d urge local people to check if they’re able to order the high-speed services that are now widely available across Scotland.”

Further information is also available on Twitter @ScotSuperfast or Facebook at www.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast

ENDS

1 These are the top wholesale speeds available over Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

2 For further information see the Ofcom Connected Nations report 2017.

Notes to editors:

Due to the current network topography and the economics of deployment, it is likely that not all premises within selected exchange areas will be able to access fibre-based broadband at the same point in the roll-out.

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme aims to provide fibre broadband infrastructure to parts of Scotland not included in commercial providers’ investment plans, reaching around 95 per cent of premises when combined with current commercial roll-out plans.

About BDUK

Superfast Britain is a UK Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:

£780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017

£150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities

£150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services

Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.

For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk

About Openreach

Openreach is Britain’s digital network business.

We’re 30,400 people who connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses - large and small - to the world.

Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.

We work on behalf of more than 590 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and BT, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more 27 million premises. We’re also the platform for Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest in the G20.

We’re working hard to give people the speeds they need to run and enjoy their daily lives. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11 billion into our network and we now manage more than 160 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, from Wales to the east coast. And we’re continuing to take that network further - making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.

Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group, and it is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of our revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom.

Any company can access our products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.

For the year ended 31 March 2017, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.

For more information, visitopenreach.co.uk