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Newington pupils get a lesson with fibre broadband

Press Release   •   Apr 25, 2018 10:30 BST

Preston Street Primary School pupils, Councillor Kate Campbell and Digital Scotland's Stephen Chambers in Newington.

More than 2,400 homes and businesses in Newington are now able to connect to high-speed fibre broadband thanks to the £428M Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

The Digital Scotland team celebrated fibre availability in the Edinburgh district this week as they visited a fibre street cabinet that serves part of the local area. They were joined by senior pupils from Preston Street Primary School and Councillor Kate Campbell.

The Newington premises are among around 890,000 homes and businesses across Scotland which are now able to access fibre broadband through Digital Scotland rollout.

The programme announced last week 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.

Other areas in Edinburgh to benefit from the Digital Scotland rollout, led by the Scottish Government, include parts of Balerno, Lothianburn, Inverleith, Portobello, and Newhaven. 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.

Maureen Allan, Head Teacher at Preston Street Primary School, said: “It was fantastic see our pupils helping to celebrate fibre broadband availability in Newington. It was a great opportunity for them to understand the amount of engineering work involved in connecting up communities to fibre broadband. It also showed them how beneficial a high-speed, reliable internet connection would be when it comes to their school work and various other aspects of their home life.”

Councillor Kate Campbell, Housing and Economy Convener, said: “This is fantastic news for local businesses and residents who will now have access to faster broadband speeds. It’s great to see the roll-out of high speed broadband across more and more communities thanks to Digital Scotland and the Scottish Government. It was also great fun getting to unwrap the cabinet.”

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. 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’s fantastic news that the programme has been able to benefit residents and businesses in and around Newington.

“I would like to thank the pupils from Preston Street Primary School and Councillor Kate Campbell for joining us to unveil the latest fibre street cabinet and I am glad to see that it has been able to benefit the local community.”

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 as a result of stronger than expected take-up.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach fibre partnership director for Scotland, said: “Thousands of people and businesses across Edinburgh 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

1These 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.

2For 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. Combined with current commercial roll-out plans, the programme will deliver access to fibre broadband to around 95% of premises by the end of the current contract.

Funding partners include the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, BT, the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund. The total project value includes around £18 million which is being reinvested back in to the programme as a result of stronger than expected early take-up.

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