Auchtermuchty residents get a superfast start to spring
Around 1,500 homes and businesses in Auchtermuchty, Kettlebridge, Kingskettle, Pitlessie and Dunshalt can now get connected to fibre broadband – and a roadshow will visit two Fife towns next week to help local people find out more.
The local premises are among more than 220,000 across Scotland which can now access fibre broadband services at speeds of up to 80Mbps* as part of the £410 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband rollout.
The UK Government announced on Monday that more than two million homes and businesses have now been reached by superfast broadband partnerships across the UK. The UK Government is investing £1.7bn in these rollouts as a key part of its long term economic plan.
Fibre broadband enables multiple users in a home or business to access the internet, download and share large files at the same time more quickly than ever before. In order to take advantage of the higher speeds now available, residents should contact their service provider.
The rollout is being delivered on the ground by engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach. With more than 850 new cabinets now installed across Scotland to house the fibre connections, the project underpins the Scottish Government’s aim of delivering world class connectivity by 2020.
Anyone in the local community who is interested in finding out how fibre broadband works and the benefits it can provide can go along to a special drop-in event either at the Ladybank Library, Commercial Road, between 10.30am and 12.30pm or at the Auchtermuchty Library, High Street, between 2pm and 4pm on Thursday, February 19.
Attendees at either event will be able to climb aboard the Openreach Fibre Showcase, a specially-adapted vehicle which features all of the equipment used in the roll-out of fibre broadband. The unique vehicle includes equipment 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 - like how fibre optic cables are ‘blown’ underground, as part of the deployment.
Members of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme will also be on hand to get people up to speed with the technology and provide advice on areas such as signing up with a service provider, paying bills and accessing council services.
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, 85 per cent of premises in Scotland will have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2015/16 and around 95 per cent by the end of 2017/18.
Lesley Laird, Deputy Leader and Executive Spokesperson for Economy and Planning for Fife Council, said: “It’s really exciting to hear that so many residences in Cairneyhill are already able to connect to fibre broadband. It’s good to see this project reaching more communities in our area, contributing towards the aim of connecting most of our homes and businesses to fibre broadband. With the events in Auchtermuchty and Ladybank, we hope to have a good turn-out and demonstrate to our residents, and other surrounding communities, the huge benefits which fibre broadband can provide.”
Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s great news that many residents and businesses in and around Auchtermuchty and Ladybank are now able to receive fibre broadband thanks to the programme, with more local coverage to follow. The difference that fibre broadband can make is amazing, giving much more flexibility whether it’s at work or in the home. I hope that local residents will come along to the events to get an understanding of the boost they can expect from a fast fibre broadband connection.”
BT is investing £126 million in the Digital Scotland programme, in addition to its commercial rollout of fibre broadband in Scotland.
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “Hundreds of Fifers now have access to their best ever broadband speeds, and more will follow. As the fibre network extends across Fife, making the most of it is vital. This is a great opportunity for local people and businesses to find out how they could benefit by signing up for high-speed broadband with their service provider.”
Users can check the interactive map on the Digital Scotland website (http://www.digitalscotland.org/whereandwhen ) 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 to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
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 as well as BT.
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).
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-u k