21
July
2015
|
15:42
Europe/Amsterdam

A year of fibre broadband in the Kingdom of Fife

Summary
Thousands more Fife households and businesses can now get superfast broadband

More than 25,000 additional homes and businesses across Fife now have fibre broadband available to them thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership.

The programme, which started to ‘go live’ in Fife a year ago, has already helped coverage increase by 13 per cent across the Kingdom.

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme aims to provide fibre broadband infrastructure to parts of Scotland not included in the private sector’s commercial investment plans. It’s part of the Scottish Government’s aim to make Scotland a world class digital nation by 2020. Combined with current commercial roll-out plans, 85 per cent of premises in Scotland will have access to fibre broadband by the end of March 2016 and around 95 per cent by the end of March 2018.

Superfast broadband enables multiple users in a home or business to access the internet, download and share large files at the same time at download speeds of up to 80 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps*.

Households and businesses interested in signing up for the benefits of fibre-based services should contact their broadband service provider.

Last year, 69 per cent of premises in Fife had access to fibre broadband. Coverage has now reached just over 82 per cent - up 13 per cent.

Fife Council has invested £2.8 million into Digital Scotland’s programme to improve the level of broadband coverage and it’s anticipated that by the end of 2017, Fife’s coverage will be over 98 per cent when the private sector’s commercial rollout is also included.

Across Scotland more than 365,000 premises are now able to receive fibre broadband due to the £410m Digital Scotland rollout across Scotland.

Towns including Cupar, Falkland, Glenrothes and St Andrews are all now benefitting from the programme’s intervention.

Councillor Lesley Laird, Fife Deputy Leader and Executive Spokesperson for Economy and Planning, said: “It’s fantastic to see such significant progress in Fife in the first year of this four year programme.

“Fibre broadband will bring many benefits to Fife’s residents as more services are being delivered online. Better broadband will also help to develop a strong digital and creative economy. We all realise that there is still a bit to go in delivering our broadband ambition – but meanwhile residents can check the availability of fibre broadband at Digital Scotland’s“Where and When” http://www.digitalscotland.org/whereandwhen. This has the most up to date information on the roll out programme and allows people to keep up to date when their area has gone live.”

Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “This is great news to see that so many homes and business are starting to be able to benefit from fibre broadband. There is much more to come in terms of deployment within Fife and we’ll be sure to keep residents informed when it reaches their area.”

The Digital Scotland rollout is being delivered on the ground by BT, which is investing £126m in the programme in addition to its commercial upgrades. In total, the Digital Scotland deployment now passes around 365,000 Scottish homes and businesses.

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland Director, said:“The roll-out of fibre broadband across the Kingdom is another important step in our roll-out of this exciting technology. Scotland’s digital journey has taken huge steps forward in the last 12 months, but there’s still much to be done.”

“More will follow as engineers from our local network company, Openreach, continue to deliver on the ground, passing another 7,000 Scottish homes and business premises every week. It’s no small task and there are lots of challenges along the way, but this massive infrastructure undertaking will provide huge economic and social benefits to Fife communities for generations to come.”

Note:

1These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

Due to the current network topography, and the economics of deployment, it is likely that some premises within selected exchange areas will not initially be able to access fibre-based broadband. Openreach is considering alternative solutions for these locations, which may also benefit from the local partnership activity outlined above.