Pupils from Edenside Primary School in Kelso have been learning about technology aboard the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband Fibre Showcase.
The unique vehicle features equipment used in the roll-out of fibre broadband. During the visit, pupils learned about fibre broadband and how it’s delivered through interactive activities.
Thanks to the Digital Scotland rollout, more than 36,100 premises across the Scottish Borders are now able to connect to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband network, which has now reached Camptown for the first time, with more coverage being rolled out in places like Bonchester Bridge, Duns, West Linton and Leitholm. Work is ongoing, with Openreach engineers continuing work on the ground into 2019.
In addition, the latest local properties passed in the Ayton, Coldstream, Jedburgh, Lempitlaw, Stichill and Broughton exchange areas can now connect to the most reliable and fastest residential broadband available, as engineers build more Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) to help harder-to-reach homes join the digital revolution.
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.
James Bewsey, Head Teacher at Edenside Primary School in Kelso, said: “It was great to have the Digital Scotland team visit our school this week. It was a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to see the amount of hard engineering work that’s involved in connecting up communities to fibre broadband. It also showed our pupils how beneficial it would be when it comes to their school work and various other aspects of their home life.”
Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable broadband connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps* 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 the Scottish Borders.
"I would like to thank the pupils from Edenside Primary School for joining us to raise awareness of the availability of superfast broadband in the Borders and it’s really important that the deployment will continue in the area throughout 2018 and into 2019.
"I do recognise that not all Borders residents have yet, or will benefit from this programme, please however be assured that we continue to work hard to improve digital connectivity for all residents and businesses across the region. This is why we are now building further and well beyond our 2017 programme end – strong management and innovation have allowed us to do this. It is extraordinarily difficult but fundamental."
Delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland – funding partners include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), BT Group, local authorities and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund.
Robert Thorburn, Partnership Director for Openreach in Scotland, said: “The Digital Scotland project and our hard-working engineers have delivered more coverage across the country at faster speeds than expected.
“The latest upgrades across the Scottish Borders include more deployment of future-proof, ultrafast FTTP, which we’re increasingly using in areas where it’s the best technical solution.
“We’re proud to be a partner in helping Scottish Borders communities to reach their digital potential. We know there’s more to be done, and we’re committed to doing all we can with partners to bring better broadband to everyone.”
* These are the top wholesale speed available over the Openreach FTTC and FTTP 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.
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 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