Fibre broadband boost for Haddington
More than 460 households and businesses in Haddington are now able to connect to fibre broadband, with more to follow, thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.
The properties in Haddington join more than 5,300 homes and businesses in East Lothian which are now able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout.
Other areas where fibre has gone live thanks to the programme include Aberlady, Gifford, Longniddry, Gullane and Port Seton, with more areas planned in the coming months as engineers from BT’s local network business Openreach continue work on the ground.
The coverage in Haddington builds on BT’s commercial rollout of fibre broadband there, which passes nearly 3,500 more local homes and businesses. The fibre network has also been extended in Cockenzie and Tranent by the Digital Scotland rollout.
To help local people find out more about the benefits of the high-speed service, a special drop-in event will be held on Court Street, between 12 and 3pm, on Friday November 20. Anyone from Haddington and the surrounding area interested in finding out how fibre broadband works and the benefits it can provide is welcome to attend the free event.
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 project underpins the Scottish Government’s aim of delivering world class connectivity by 2020.
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.
During the event, members of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme will 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.
Those attending will also be 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.
Councillor John McMillan, East Lothian Council’s spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism, said: “It’s really exciting to hear that so many residences in and around Haddington 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.
“We hope to have a good turn-out at the event on Court Street and demonstrate to our residents and various businesses the huge benefits which fibre broadband will provide.”
Sara Budge, programme director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s great news that many residents and businesses in Haddington are now able to receive fibre broadband thanks to the programme, with more local coverage to follow.
“I’m also excited that we’ll be having our new Digital Scotland fibre showcase in the village. This will give residents an interesting and detailed idea of what fibre broadband can provide and exactly how it’s delivered.
“The difference a high-speed connection can make is amazing, giving much more flexibility at work or in the home. I hope that local residents will come along to the event at The Cargill Centre to get an understanding of the boost they can expect from a fast fibre broadband connection when they sign up with a service provider.”
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: “Thousands more people in East Lothian now have access to their best ever broadband speeds thanks to the Digital Scotland project, which builds on BT’s commercial roll-out in some towns including Haddington.
“It means that in total nearly 35,000 East Lothian households can now access a fibre broadband connection and, as the new high-speed network continues to extend across the area, making the most of it is vital. I hope local people and businesses will soon be taking advantage of all the opportunities on offer.”
Local people can check the interactive map on the Digital Scotland website (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
Notes to editors
*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 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.
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:
For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk