First super-fast fibre broadband goes live in South Ayrshire

More than 7,100 local homes and businesses to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out; news welcomed by Brian Donohoe MP and John Scott MSP 

High-speed fibre broadband is now available to the first homes and businesses in South Ayrshire, BT announced today. 

More than 7,100 local households and firms in Troon will be able to join the high-speed revolution as engineers complete the local investment in the coming weeks. 

It’s the first town in South Ayrshire to have access to fibre broadband. Ayr, Girvan, Prestwick and Alloway are also due to be upgraded and by the end of Spring 2014 almost 39,000 homes and businesses across South Ayrshire will be able to benefit as a result of BT’s £2.5 billion fibre roll-out programme. 

BT is also seeking to work in partnership with the public sector to reach parts of the area that lie outside its commercial footprint. 

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “Today’s technological first is great news for Troon as BT’s fibre network brings a boost for local economies wherever it goes. Research suggests that within 15 years fibre broadband could bolster the economy of a typical town by £143 million and create 225 new jobs, 140 new start-up businesses and 1,000 more homeworkers1. 

“As more than a million UK households and businesses have already discovered, fibre broadband opens up a whole new world to internet users. Whatever you’re doing online, you can do it better and faster with fibre. It’s great for education, shopping, entertainment, the social networking we now carry out routinely online and it also offers huge benefits for businesses and public services. 

“The arrival of fibre in Troon can really help local firms in these economically challenging times, opening up new ways of working and speeding up vital operations, such as file and data transfers, conferencing and computer back-up, which may also help cut costs.” 

John Scott, MSP for Ayr, said: “With such a large proportion of our business and leisure activity now dependent on a good broadband service, it’s great news that Troon is benefitting from this investment by BT and I am sure local residents and businesses will welcome the improvements that it brings. 

“I am also looking forward to other local towns, including Prestwick and Ayr, soon getting the same advantages of super-fast fibre broadband as the service is further rolled out over the coming months.” 

Brian Donohoe, MP for Central Ayrshire, said: “Fibre broadband has an essential role to play in the stimulation of economic recovery and in building a more prosperous future for us all. It’s a major step forward that thousands of local people can now get connected to this exciting technology. 

“To ensure Troon’s future success we need the right building blocks in place. One of these is having the digital technology to support our people and economy. Super-fast fibre broadband will transform the business sector and attract new inward investment. 

“Hundreds of new jobs and business start-ups are expected to be created. With access to fibre broadband, local firms can explore new ways of working and speed up vital operations, to boost their ability to compete.” 

BT’s fibre footprint currently passes more than 15 million UK homes and businesses. It is expanding all the time and is now due to pass two-thirds of UK premises – around 19 million premises – during Spring 2014, at least 18 months ahead of the original timetable.2 

Brendan Dick added: “Our ambition doesn’t stop with our commercial roll-out. We’re keen to work with the public sector to extend fibre broadband to the remaining parts of Scotland that are harder to reach, as we are in the Highlands and Islands. Reaching two-thirds of the UK early will mean we’re well positioned to place an even greater focus on the challenge of the final third.” 

Openreach, BT’s local network business, is primarily deploying fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, where the fibre runs from the exchange to a local roadside cabinet. FTTC offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps3 and could deliver even faster speeds in the future. 

From Spring 2013 Openreach aims to start to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, where the fibre runs all the way to the home or business, commercially available on demand4in areas where fibre broadband has been deployed. FTTP-on-demand will offer the top current download speed of 330Mbps3. According to the regulator Ofcom, the current average UK residential broadband download speed is 12Mbps. 

At home, fibre broadband enables a family to simultaneously download a movie, watch a TV replay service, surf the internet and play games online all at the same time. A whole album can be downloaded in less than 30 seconds and a feature length HD movie in less than 10 minutes, whilst high-resolution photos can be uploaded to Facebook in seconds. 

Unlike other companies, Openreach offers fibre broadband access to all service providers on an open, wholesale basis, underpinning a competitive market. For further information on Openreach’s fibre broadband programme visit www.superfast-openreach.co.uk 


Notes to editors 

1 Research taken from Social Study 2012 – The Economic Impact of BT across the UK by Regeneris Consulting – see www.btsocialstudy.co.uk for more information. 
2 BT’s deployment plans are subject to an acceptable environment for investment. 
3 These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary. 
4 Openreach will levy an installation charge for FTTP on demand. It will be up to service providers to decide whether they pass that on to businesses or consumers wishing to use the product. 

Due to the current network topography, and the economics of deployment, it is likely that some premises within selected exchange areas will not initially be able to access fibre-based broadband. Openreach is considering alternative solutions for these locations.