To help promote the fact that fibre broadband is widely available in West Lothian, the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband team were out and about in Whitburn and Linlithgow this week to continue their ‘Up your Street’ campaign.
More than 22,400 homes and businesses across West Lothian can now upgrade to faster fibre broadband through the £428 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband rollout. Local people need to sign up for the new, faster services with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.
Across Scotland, more than 890,000 premises are able to connect to the new network thanks to the programme. Areas across West Lothian to benefit from the Digital Scotland rollout, led by the Scottish Government, include Westfield, Winchburgh and Whitburn. More local coverage will follow as engineers from Openreach – Scotland’s digital network business – continue work on the ground.
Each week the programme, one of the largest broadband infrastructure projects in Europe, reaches more remote and rural areas.
Across the country nearly 4,500 new fibre street cabinets are now live and more than 11,000km of cable has been laid by engineers from Openreach, Scotland’s digital network business. 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.
Delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland – funding partners also include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), BT Group, local authorities and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund.
Thanks to additional investment as a result of innovation and new funding generated by stronger than expected take-up, the programme will deliver new DSSB deployment in every local authority area during 2018 and into 2019, complementing ongoing commercial build across Scotland.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Once again it is very positive news knowing that more premises than ever before now have fibre broadband available to them.
“I would encourage more people to check whether they are eligible to upgrade on the DSSB website and contact a service provider of their choice to start receiving faster broadband.
“I am not complacent – I am aware that those who do not have access are at a disadvantage and our job is not done until everyone is connected. We are now focusing on the next steps to achieve 100 per cent coverage by 2021.”
Councillor Kirsteen Sullivan, Depute Leader of West Lothian Council, added: “I am delighted that areas across West Lothian can access fibre broadband thanks to the programme and more people are now able to get a superfast speed. Whether you are downloading a box set, a small business making transactions or just keeping in touch with friends, fibre broadband can make it all happen easily.
“West Lothian has one of the highest levels of superfast broadband coverage in Scotland and the UK. It’s vitally important that we continue to market West Lothian as a great place for businesses to remain competitive, grow and innovate, and that’s why West Lothian Council has invested £2.5 million towards improving high speed fibre broadband.”
Robert Thorburn, Fibre Broadband Director for Openreach in Scotland, said: “As the rollout nears its end stages, we’re really digging in to some harder-to-reach communities and places where the engineering challenges are more significant.
“Many of these latest lines have been converted from a format once thought incompatible with high-speed fibre broadband, and we’re increasingly using ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) to deliver the network directly into some individual dwellings, in places like Stoneyburn and Livingston Station.
“It’s really a privilege for all of us at Openreach to be able to play such an important part in the life of communities the length and breadth of Scotland. We know there’s always more to do and we are up for the challenge.”
1 These are the top wholesale speeds available over the Openreach networks to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
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, and has reached around 95 per cent of premises when combined with current commercial roll-out plans.
The Digital Scotland website is at www.scotlandsuperfast.com
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
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