Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband Rock’n’Roll with Park Fest in Stranraer

More than 1,200 homes and businesses in Stranraer are now able to connect to high-speed fibre broadband thanks to the £428M Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme. The people behind the town's Park Fest event - in support of the RNLI - joined Councillor Andrew Giusti and the Digital Scotland team to unveil one of the new high-speed street cabinets.

More than 1,200 homes and businesses in Stranraer are now able to connect to high-speed fibre broadband thanks to the £428M Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

Mandy Green and her team from RNLI Park Fest, which takes place this weekend, joined Councillor Andrew Giusti and the Digital Scotland team to celebrate the latest fibre availability in the Dumfries and Galloway town – and unveil one of the new high-speed street cabinets.

The latest premises are among around 780,000 homes and businesses across Scotland which are now able to access fibre broadband through Digital Scotland rollout.

Other areas in Dumfries and Galloway to benefit recently from the Digital Scotland rollout, led by the Scottish Government, include Portpatrick, Drummore, Bankshill, Dalbeattie, Glencaple, Kirkcowan, Port William and parts of Newton Stewart. More local coverage will follow as engineers from Openreach – Scotland’s digital network business - continue work on the ground.

Local people can check the Digital Scotland website - scotlandsuperfast.com - to find out if they are able to access the latest fibre broadband technology. People need to sign up with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.

Mandy from Park Fest said: “It was a pleasure to join the Digital Scotland team to celebrate the availability of fibre broadband in Stranraer. It's good to see this project reaching more communities and giving an increasing number of homes and businesses the chance to connect to high-speed broadband.

“Park Fest is a little festival with a big heart and is held annually on the third weekend in August. This weekend we will be joined by various bands in order to support the ‘RNLI Inshore Lifeboat’ in Stranraer.”

Rob Davidson, Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Policy and Resources committee, said: “Superfast fibre broadband will benefit both local residents and businesses. Broadband is an essential part of Dumfries and Galloway’s present and future. It’s vital that we embrace this latest generation of technology in order for our local economy to remain competitive.

“Better, faster communications boost businesses, helping them grow and create more jobs. What’s more, local residents can enjoy faster browsing and downloading at home. This is great news for Stranraer and we are determined to make sure everyone in Dumfries and Galloway has access to digital services and the skills and confidence to go online and use them.”

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. Across Dumfries and Galloway, more than 46,000 homes and businesses can now benefit from fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout.

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.

Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s fantastic news that the programme has been able to launch more fibre broadband to benefit residents and businesses in and around Stranraer.

“I would like to thank Mandy and Andrew for joining us this week to unveil the fibre street cabinet and helping us spread the word.”

Digital Scotland funding partners include the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, BT, the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund. BT is investing £126 million in the rollout, and the total project value includes around £18 million which is being reinvested back in to the programme as a result of stronger than expected early take-up.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach client director for Scotland, said: “Thousands of people across Dumfries and Galloway now have the opportunity to access their best ever broadband speeds when they sign up with a service provider. 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. With a high level of fibre coverage now available in Stranraer, we’d encourage everyone to check.”

Further information is also available on Twitter @ScotSuperfast or Facebook at www.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast


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

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.

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, the programme will deliver access to fibre broadband to around 95% of premises by the end of the current contract.

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

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2017, BT Group’s reported revenue was £24,062m with reported profit before taxation of £2,354m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com