More than 1,000 homes and businesses in Stewarton are 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 East Ayrshire town this week as they visited a fibre street cabinet that serves part of the local area. They were joined by senior pupils from Nether Robertland Primary School who discovered what goes on inside the green street cabinets.
The latest 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 East Ayrshire to benefit from the rollout, led by the Scottish Government, include Patna, Fenwick and Darvel as well as additional recent coverage in places like Kilmarnock, Galston and Dalmellington. 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.
Councillor Elena Whitham, Depute Leader of East Ayrshire Council, welcomed Digital Scotland’s visit saying: “Excellent communications networks are essential to the growth and sustainability of our communities, especially in rural areas, where the roll-out of super-fast broadband is especially welcome.
“I’m pleased to see our pupils getting a fascinating behind the scenes look at progress, as we continue with our commitment to ensure every young person in East Ayrshire benefits from the opportunities, resources and skills they need to succeed in school, work and life.”
Shauna Wilson, Head Teacher at Nether Robertland primary school, said: “It was fantastic to see our pupils involved in helping launch the latest fibre broadband in the town. It was a great opportunity for them to see the amount of hard engineering work that’s involved in connecting up communities. It also showed them how beneficial the technology 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 Stewarton.
“I would like to thank the pupils from Nether Robertland Primary School 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: “Pupils from Nether Robertland Primary School were able to get an insight into how high-speed technology powers the internet and learn about a very positive side to a career in engineering.
“Thousands of people and businesses across East Ayrshire can now connect to their best ever broadband speeds when they sign up with a service provider. 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 I’d urge people to check and order.”
Further information is also available on Twitter @ScotSuperfast or Facebook at www.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast
*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.
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.
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.