A super-star winner for superfast broadband Christmas card competition

Schoolgirl Alix Kay will be having a superfast Christmas after winning the top prize in the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband Christmas card competition.

Schoolgirl Alix Kay will be having a superfast Christmas after winning the top prize in the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband Christmas card competition.

Alix, a primary-seven pupil from Barshare Primary School in Cumnock, was chosen from hundreds of entries from primary schools across East Ayrshire.

Featuring a delighted Santa on his sleigh, powered by his two new superfast reindeers ‘Fibre’ and ‘Broadband’, the design will be used as the official e-Christmas card for the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership.

For her winning entry, 11-year-old Alix receives a new electronic tablet and £50 worth of book tokens for her school. Three runners-up in the competition also receive a £10 book token. Alix was presented with her prize at an event in Linlithgow today (Tuesday, December 9) by Dr Alasdair Allan, the Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages.

Alix and her family are amongst the 8,100 households and businesses in Cumnock and East Ayrshire who can now receive high-speed fibre broadband thanks to the £410M Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership.

Many local families can now connect to the new technology for the first time, gaining access to new opportunities in areas like online learning and entertainment. It also helps businesses and organisations to diversify and expand their services. In order to receive fibre broadband, customers should contact their service providers.

Presenting the prize, Dr Allan Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages said: “Alix’s entry is fun and innovative. The difference fibre broadband will make to areas like Cumnock and the surrounding area is really important. The arrival of fibre broadband will help Alix and her fellow peers benefit both when it comes to their education and for their hobbies.”

The theme of the competition was ‘What A Digital Christmas Could Look Like’, and Programme Director for Digital Scotland Sara Budge and Programme Director for BT Liz Mallinson had a difficult time judging the entries. Amongst some unique and brilliant entries, it was Alix’s design which stood out for both judges.

Alix said: “I’m really excited to have won this competition, especially for such an interesting project. I absolutely love my new Tablet. It’s something I’ve always wanted and I know that it will help me with my school work in the New Year.”

Lorraine Facchini, Head teacher at Barshare Primary, said: “I’m delighted that one of our pupils has won such an exciting competition. All the cards made at Barshare Primary were fantastic and each pupil worked extremely hard on the task. It makes it all the more exciting knowing that the school has contributed to something which will benefit thousands of people across Scotland. Hopefully the new tablet won’t distract Alix from her school work, even if she’s now able to get the answer before her teacher.”

Councillor Stephanie Primrose, East Ayrshire Council’s Spokesperson for Promoting Lifelong Learning said: “Alix’s enthusiasm for art and learning is infectious and typifies why Superfast Broadband is so important to our communities. With improved access we can all take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the internet and its capability for furthering our knowledge, skills and communications no matter our age or level of education. We’re very happy that our younger generation in East Ayrshire will now have the benefit of fibre broadband as they progress through their academic careers.”

Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “All the entries sent in were fantastic and we’re extremely grateful for all the hard work carried out by all the primary schools across East Ayrshire. It was very difficult for Liz and me to choose a winner, however, there was something about Alix’s card which just stood out for us. We hope that she enjoys her prize and wish her all the best in 2015.”

Fellow judge Liz Mallinson concluded: “Alix’s design is fantastic and we look forward to sending it out this Christmas as a fun and cheerful way to help spread the word about superfast broadband.”

The 8,100 local homes and businesses are among more than 150,000 across Scotland which can now access fibre broadband services at speeds of up to 80Mbps* through the Digital Scotland rollout. Premises in Dalrymple, Drongan, Joppa, Mauchline, Muirkirk and New Cumnock have access to the high-speed technology for the first time; while more premises are included in Cumnock, building on BT’s existing fibre network there.

Fibre broadband enables multiple users in a home or business to access the internet, download and share large files at the same time and more quickly than ever before. A new interactive map is live on the Digital Scotland website (http://www.digitalscotland.org/whereandwhen), to help users find out if they can get the service and further information is also available on Twitter @ScotSuperfast or Facebook at www.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast



*These are the top wholesale speeds available to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary. Openreach offers fibre broadband access to all service providers on an open, wholesale basis, underpinning a competitive market.

While many premises in enabled areas now have access to fibre broadband, some may not be able to connect due to network topography and other technological factors. To be sure that you can get fibre broadband, check with your internet service provider.

The Digital Scotland rollout consists of two projects – one covering the Highlands and Islands area and the other covering the rest of Scotland. Funding partners include the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund. BT is investing £126m in the programme and is delivering both projects on the ground.

The Rest of Scotland project is being supported through £157.6million public funding including £50 million from BDUK and BT’s private investment of £106.7million. The public funding includes funding from all 27 local authorities in the project area and additional funding from 14 local authorities who are investing around £51 million to increase coverage, meet local priorities and address the digital divide in their areas. Coupled with the investment in the Highlands and Islands region announced earlier in the year, it brings the total investment in fibre broadband in Scotland to more than £410 million.

The Rest of Scotland project area includes the following local authority areas: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, parts of Argyll & Bute, Clackmannanshire, Dumfries & Galloway, Dundee City, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, City of Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow City, Inverclyde, Midlothian, North Ayrshire (apart from the Islands), North Lanarkshire, Perth & Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian.

The Highlands and Islands broadband project is being led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and includes the following local authority areas: Highland, Moray, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands, Eilean Siar (Western Isles), parts of Argyll and Bute and part of North Ayrshire (Islands).

About BDUK
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