Aberlady pupils get a lesson with fibre broadband
Pupils from Aberlady Primary School had a classroom with a difference as they jumped on board the Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase to learn all about high-speed fibre broadband.
The pupils were joined by the Digital Scotland team on Thursday 2nd June to learn about how fibre broadband is rolled out and all the opportunities it could have for their school work.
The next Digital Scotland event will be Musselburgh on Thursday, June 9, when anyone interested in hearing more about fibre broadband can attend a free drop-in event at The Brunton Theatre foyer between 10am and 2pm.
Around 500 households and businesses in Aberlady, and 400 in Musselburgh, can now access high-speed fibre services thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme. Local people need to sign up for the new services with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.
It builds on BT’s commercial rollout in East Lothian, which passes 31,300 local homes and businesses.
The premises are among more than 7,200 in East Lothian which are now able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout. Other local areas now live thanks to the programme include Cockenzie, Gifford, Gullane, Longniddry, North Berwick, Pencaitland, and Wallyford, while the fibre network has been extended in Tranent, Haddington, Dunbar and Prestonpans, including Port Seton.
More coverage will follow as engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, continue work on the ground.
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.
During the school visit, pupils climbed aboard the Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase, a unique vehicle which features all of the equipment used in the roll-out of fibre broadband.
It includes kit which is familiar to members of the public - like the new green street cabinets - as well as some of the things they don’t often see, such as how fibre-optic cables are ‘blown’ underground.
Members of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme answered pupils’ questions and will also be on hand in Musselburgh to bring people up to speed with the technology and provide advice on areas such as signing up with a service provider.
Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s great news that many residents and businesses in and around Aberlady and Musselburgh are now able to receive fibre broadband thanks to the programme, with more local coverage to follow.
“I also hope that all the children at the school enjoyed visiting our Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase and found it insightful in finding out what fibre broadband can provide and how it’s delivered, as well as giving them the chance to think of future careers.
“The difference that fibre broadband can make is amazing. Once signed up with a service provider, it will give much more flexibility whether it’s at work or in the home.”
Liz Mallinson, BT Scotland’s Fibre Broadband Director, added: “We welcomed the chance to give local pupils an insight into how high-speed technology powers the internet and learn about a very positive side to a career in engineering.
“Thousands of East Lothian residents now have the opportunity to access their best ever broadband speeds when they sign up with a service provider. We’re passing more homes every week so it’s worth checking the latest availability.
“Many local people are already taking advantage of the faster speeds now available and we’d urge others to consider the benefits of a move to a fibre service. 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.”
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 plan, the programme will deliver access to fibre broadband to around 95% of premises by the end of March 2018.
A number of homes and businesses in East Lothian, which did include many of the premises in Aberlady, are served by ‘Exchange Only’ lines. These run directly from the exchange to the premises, bypassing the usual road-side cabinets which are integral to the fibre rollout. Engineers have to rearrange the existing network, laying new cables to reroute lines through extra road-side cabinets, to overcome this challenge.
Local people can check the interactive map on the Digital Scotland website (http://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/where-when/) to find out if they can get the service and further information is also available on Twitter @ScotSuperfast or Facebook atwww.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast.
*These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
Caption: Pupils from Aberlady Primary School welcome the arrival of the fibre showcase.
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. Further announcements will be made as more areas are able to access the growing fibre infrastructure.