Bridge of Weir pupils get a lesson with fibre broadband
More than 2,700 homes and businesses in Bridge of Weir, Houston and Crosslee can now access fibre services thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.
Fibre broadband enables multiple users in a home or business to connect to 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 Bridge of Weir premises join over 11,300 homes and businesses in Renfrewshire which are able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout – with more local coverage to follow.
Other areas in Renfrewshire that are live thanks to the programme include Bishopton, Crosslee, Houston, Lochwinnoch and Kilbarchan, among others.
The latest premises are among more than 455,000 across Scotland which can now access fibre broadband services at speeds of up to 80Mbps* as part of the £410 million Digital Scotland rollout.
The Digital Scotland rollout is being delivered on the ground by engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach. With more than 2,000 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.
More than 120 pupils from the primary school were able to climb aboard the new Digital Scotland 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, such as how fibre-optic cables are ‘blown’ underground, as part of the deployment. Representatives from Digital Scotland discussed the huge benefits which fibre broadband can provide and how it can help them in their future.
A number of local homes and businesses in Bridge of Weir are served by ‘Exchange Only’ lines which run directly from the exchange to the premises – bypassing the usual road-side cabinets which are integral to the fibre rollout. Engineers plan to rearrange the existing network, laying new cables to reroute lines through extra road-side cabinets, to overcome this challenge.
Carol Vallance, principal teacher at Bridge of Weir Primary School, said: “It was a pleasure to have the Digital Scotland team visit the school. It was a great opportunity for the children to see what benefits a fibre connection can provide, as well as all the amount of work that happens when installing fibre broadband in an area.
“The children were excited by the possibilities that superfast broadband may offer and discussed how this might be of benefit to their school work.”
Councillor Mike Holmes, depute leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: “It's good to see this project reaching more communities and giving an increasing number of homes and businesses the opportunity to connect to high-speed broadband. We are determined to make sure everyone in Renfrewshire has access to digital services and the skills and confidence to go online and use them, even from a young age.
“With plans to increase public wi-fi availability and make our libraries and learning centres ‘digital hubs’ with free internet access, and a new online customer portal coming next year, our digital offering at the council is improving all the time and it's welcome news that high speed broadband will make it more accessible."
Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s great news that many residents and businesses in and around Bridge of Weir are now able to receive fibre broadband thanks to the programme, with more local coverage to follow.
“I also hope that the children at Bridge of Weir Primary School enjoyed visiting our brand new Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase and found it insightful in finding out what fibre broadband can provide and how it’s delivered.
“The difference that fibre broadband can make is amazing, giving much more flexibility whether it’s at work or in the home. Fibre services will have a huge benefit to those in any level of education. With the number of resourcing websites, interactive sites and video streaming channels available, it’ll really bring any subject to life and help your child get the best out of their education.”
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 people in Bridge of Weir now have access to their best ever broadband speeds thanks to the Digital Scotland project. It’s great that local pupils were able to help us celebrate its arrival and get an insight into how high-speed technology powers the internet. It’s also a chance for us to show a very positive side to a career in engineering.”
Local people 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 at www.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast