Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford today visited Openreach engineers working on an installation of the next generation of broadband technology for new homes on the city outskirts.
He saw a ‘full-fibre’ network which has been built directly into the new homes near Raploch to deliver ultrafast internet connections. The future-proof services can carry speeds up to 1Gbps1 - 21 times faster than the UK’s current average.
Mr Crawford also got an update on superfast services locally as he looked inside a fibre street cabinet2 at Castle Business Park. According to the independent website Think Broadband, nearly 90 per cent of premises in Stirling are now able to connect to broadband at a speed of 30Mbps and above.
Mr Crawford said: “Good connectivity is a prerequisite in this day and age, so spending time with engineers to hear about the evolution of digital networks and what it means for people was useful.
“The Scottish Government has been working with Openreach over the last several years to improve broadband, with nine out of 10 constituency households now able to get a superfast connection.
“There is more work to do, and it’s important progress continues at pace.”
He added: “It was interesting to hear about plans for full fibre broadband, where the fibre runs directly to people’s homes. While this is in the early stages, it’s great to know that some constituents can already enjoy reliable broadband capabilities which are among the best anywhere in the UK.”
As well as its commercial investment in upgrades, Openreach has been working closely with the Scottish and UK Governments, local authorities and other partners since 2013 to bring fibre-based broadband to communities which were not included in any upgrade plans by private companies.
The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership rollout has brought fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) broadband to many local communities and includes small deployments of fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) in areas where it is the best technical solution.
The visit was hosted by Brendan Dick, Openreach board chair in Scotland, who said: “We know good, reliable broadband is really important to local people, and we have made great progress. However, we also appreciate that there’s more work to be done.
“We’re glad Bruce Crawford was able to make time to come and learn about the challenges, technicalities and benefits of delivering digital technology in his constituency, and see an example of the next generation of broadband already live at Raploch.
“Every day we’re keeping local communities connected, serving people, businesses and vital public services – and we’re recruiting 14 more trainees in Stirling now to help us deliver Scotland’s fibre future.”
Openreach’s Fibre-to-the-Cabinet footprint, at speeds of up to 80Mbps*, currently passes nearly 2.6 million homes and business premises in Scotland, where take-up of superfast services across all networks stands at around 40 per cent.
Openreach is also starting to roll out FTTP more widely, with plans to reach three million homes and businesses across the UK by the end of 2020, and, if the conditions are right, to go significantly beyond.
Notes to editors
1 These are wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary. FTTP is capable of delivering the fastest residential broadband speeds in the UK – up to 1Gbps – fast enough to download a two hour HD movie in 25 seconds or a 45-minute HD TV programme in just five seconds.
2Superfast services are delivered through a network of street cabinets while the latest ultrafast services are built directly to the home or business.
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 600 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and BT, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 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 and any company can access our products under the same prices, terms and conditions.
For the year ended 31 March 2018, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.
For more information, visit openreach.co.uk