More than 14,000 homes and businesses in the Stirling area are able to connect to high-speed fibre broadband thanks to the £428M Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.
The Digital Scotland team were joined by bestselling crime writer Craig Robertson to celebrate the latest fibre availability in the city of Stirling this week. Along with Councillor Jeremy McDonald - Chair of Stirling Council’s Broadband group - they visited one of the city’s new fibre street cabinets to discover what goes on inside.
The local premises are among around 800,000 homes and businesses across Scotland which are now able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout.
Other areas in Stirlingshire to benefit from the rollout, led by the Scottish Government, include Buchlyvie, Balfron and Aberfoyle as well as additional recent coverage in places like Doune and Drymen. 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 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.
Bestselling author Craig Robertson, who lives in Stirling, has written several crime novels including Random, Witness The Dead, The Last Refuge and Murderabilia. His new novel The Photographer is due out in the new year.
Craig said: “It was a pleasure to join the Digital Scotland team to celebrate the availability of fibre broadband in Stirling. It's good to see this project reaching more communities and giving an increasing number of homes and businesses the chance to connect to high-speed broadband.
“As I work from home and constantly use the internet, it's reassuring to have a fast connection and reliable download speeds. Once the writing day is done, having fibre broadband means I can binge on box sets without having to worry about buffering. It's completely changed our viewing habits!”
Finance and Economy Convenor Margaret Brisley said: “It is fantastic to see that progress continues to be made by the Digital Scotland programme, and to see areas like Buchlyvie, Balfron and Aberfoyle joining our other rural areas in being upgraded to superfast broadband, giving more local properties access to fibre. It is now more important than ever for our rural residents to have access to high-speed internet.
“Not only has superfast broadband become crucial in this digital age to stay connected with our peers, but it ensures that small locals businesses are able to keep up with those in more urban areas across Scotland. We are well on our way to driving forward digital change and connectivity across the area, making sure Stirling remains an excellent place to live, work and study.”
Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable 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: “As sponsors of the Stirling Winter Festival it has been fantastic to see that fibre broadband is benefiting local residents and businesses in and around Stirling.
“I would like to thank Councillor Jeremy McDonald and Craig Robertson for joining us to celebrate fibre availability 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 early take-up.
Robert Thorburn, Openreach fibre partnership director for Scotland, said: “It’s great that Craig took time out from his writing to help us spread the word that thousands of people and businesses across Stirling can now connect to their best ever broadband speeds.
“There’s lots of competition out there and people may find they could be surfing at much higher speeds at a similar cost to their current service, so why not book your upgrade with your service provider now – it would be a crime not to!”
*These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach 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 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.
Caption: Ian Pearson (local operations manager for Openreach), Craig Robertson (local author), Stephen Chambers (Digital Scotland Community Project Officer) and Councillor Jeremy McDonald (Chair of the Broadband Driving Group) celebrate the latest fibre availability in the city of Stirling.
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. That means we connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses – large and small – to the world. It’s our mission to build the best possible network with the highest quality service, and make sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.
Our 30,400 people work on behalf of more than 580 communications providers like Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and BT. Our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, covering more than 26.8 million premises. And our technology is the basis of Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest of the G20 countries.
We’re working hard to give people the broadband speeds they need at work and at home. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11bn into our network. And we now manage more than 158 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, and from Wales to the east coast. But we’re not stopping there – we’re making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.
We’re owned by BT Group and independently governed. Our business is highly regulated, and more than 90 per cent of our revenue comes from services that are regulated by Ofcom. Any company can access our products under the same prices, terms and conditions.
In the year ending 31 March 2017, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.
To find out more about us and what we do, go to openreach.co.uk.