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Highland Chocolatier gets a boost with Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband

Press Release   •   May 07, 2018 10:00 BST

A Highland Perthshire chocolate maker has seen its internet speeds rocket from 6Mbps to 60Mbps thanks to the £428m Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

Iain Burnett, The Highland Chocolatier based in Grandtully, Pitlochry, is among hundreds of businesses across Perth and Kinross to benefit from fibre broadband, using its new high-speed connection to showcase confectionary online and boost customer service.

More than 1,900 households and businesses across Pitlochry – among around 37,700 across Perth and Kinross – are now able to order fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland roll-out, which has also reached places like Little Dunkeld, Inchmichael, Kinrossie, Comrie and Muthill.

Iain explains: “Before fibre broadband our internet was frequently slow and the speed rarely got above 6Mbps. This meant that we could not offer our visitors Wi-Fi access as it would affect the functionality of our business internet services.

“However, since signing up we have seen a significant improvement in our speed and we can now get over 60 Mbps! This is incredible and we can now do so much more online.”

The programme announced last month that more than 95 per cent of homes and businesses across Scotland can now access fibre broadband. Combined with commercial coverage, the DSSB programme exceeded its target of 95 per cent on schedule. More local coverage will follow as engineers from Openreach, Scotland’s digital network business, continue work on the ground.

As fibre broadband offers fast and reliable broadband connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps1 - and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from - businesses can see an improvement in communication as it allows for a smoother and faster approach.

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.

The shop is dependent on its website to showcase its award-winning chocolates, particularly to retain online customers. Upgrading to fibre broadband means the team can upload large files and images quickly and easily.

Iain says: “Upgrading to fibre broadband has enabled us to easily and effectively add and remove content to our website without hassle. We are able to update the website now whenever we want which allows us to keep the content fresh. Our website – www.HighlandChocolatier.com– is vital for our business and upgrading has helped us engage with our visitors easily.”

Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, says: “It’s fantastic news that the programme has been able to benefit Iain Burnett and many others residents and businesses in and around Pitlochry.”

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 Perth and Kinross now have the opportunity to access their best-ever broadband speeds when they sign up with a service provider.

“Many consumers could be accessing significantly faster speeds by upgrading, and I‘d urge local people to check if they’re able to order the high-speed services that are now widely available.”

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

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 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