Digital Scotland’s fibre showcase visits Prestwick
Pupils at St Ninian’s Primary School in Prestwick this week got the chance to climb aboard the Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase, a unique vehicle which features equipment used in the roll-out of fibre broadband.
More than 1,400 households and businesses across the South Ayrshire town can now access high-speed fibre services thanks to the £410 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband project.
Local people need to sign up for the new, faster services with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.
During the visit, pupils learned about fibre broadband and how it’s delivered through interactive activities. The local premises are among around 715,000 homes and businesses across Scotland which are now able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout, led by the Scottish Government.
Other local areas to benefit from the programme include Tarbolton, Maybole, Ayr and Dundonald. More local coverage will follow as engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network business, continue work on the ground.
Marcus, a senior pupil at St Ninian’s, said: “We use the internet for loads of things at home and for learning in school. It is important to have a fast connection because I love to play FIFA and my sister likes to do her school work online.”
Ellen Ward, Head Teacher at St Ninian’s Primary School, added: “It was fantastic to have the Digital Scotland team visit the school. It was great opportunity for pupils to see the amount of hard engineering work that’s involved in connecting up communities to fibre broadband. It also showed them how beneficial it would be when it comes to their school work and various other aspects of their home life.”
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.
Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s fantastic news that the programme has been able to benefit residents and businesses in and around South Ayrshire.
“I would like to thank St Ninian’s primary school for having us this week and I hope that the children visiting the Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase found it an enjoyable experience finding out what fibre broadband can provide and how it’s delivered.”
BT is investing £126 million in the Digital Scotland rollout. Robert Thorburn, BT Scotland’s Fibre Broadband Director, added: “We hope St Ninian’s pupils had fun finding out how high-speed technology powers the internet – and who knows, maybe we even inspired a few engineers of the future.
“We’re working hard to get superfast services to as many local households as possible. Hundreds across Prestwick can now connect to their best ever broadband speeds when they sign up with a service provider – so why not check if you’re among them.“
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 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.
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.