24
July
2015
|
10:20
Europe/Amsterdam

Fibre Broadband Boost for Peterhead and Fraserburgh

Summary
The broadband revolution is extending its reach in the Aberdeenshire towns of Fraserburgh and Peterhead as more homes and businesses can sign up to fibre broadband – thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

The broadband revolution is extending its reach in the Aberdeenshire towns of Fraserburgh and Peterhead as more homes and businesses can sign up to fibre broadband – thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

The 2,000 homes and businesses in Fraserburgh and more than 1,000 in Peterhead are among more than 365,000 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.

It builds on BT’s commercial rollout which already covers nearly 5,000 homes and businesses in Fraserburgh and 8,000 in Peterhead.

To help local people find out more about the benefits of the high-speed service, special drop-in events will be held on Saltoun Square – Fraserburgh - on Tuesday July 28 between 2 and 6pm and on Drummers Corner – Peterhead - on Wednesday July 29 between 11am and 3pm. Anyone in the local community interested in finding out how fibre broadband works and the benefits it can provide is welcome to attend the free event.

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 providers.

The rollout is being delivered on the ground by engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach. With more than 1,600 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.

Members of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme will be on hand at the drop-in events 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.

A number of homes and businesses in the Fraserburgh and Peterhead area 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 from Openreach have rearranged the existing network to lay new cables to reroute lines through extra road-side cabinets to overcome this challenge.

Aberdeenshire Council has contributed £16 million to the Digital Scotland rollout in addition to block funding from all the Scottish local authorities.

Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, David Aitchison, said: “It’s really exciting to hear that so many premises in and around Fraserburgh and Peterhead 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 know how important access to high-speed internet technology is to both residents and businesses – which is why Aberdeenshire Council chose to invest £16 million into the programme’s rollout. We hope to have a good turn-out at the two events 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 and around Fraserburgh and Peterhead are now able to receive fibre broadband thanks to the programme.

“I’m also excited that we’ll be having our brand new Digital Scotland fibre showcase there. This will give residents an interesting and detailed idea of what fibre broadband can provide and exactly how it’s delivered.

“The difference it 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 at Saltoun Square and on Drummers Corner 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 of people in Fraserburgh and Peterhead now have access to their best ever broadband speeds. This latest Digital Scotland coverage builds on BT’s commercial rollout covering 13,000 more homes and businesses in the two towns.

“As the fibre network extends across Aberdeenshire, making the most of it is vital. I hope local people and businesses in the area will soon be taking advantage of all the opportunities on offer.”

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 at www.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast

ENDS

*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.

Background

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).