03
March
2016
|
13:50
Europe/Amsterdam

'Go Glenrothes' campaign goes superfast

Summary
​A campaign to help put Glenrothes back on the tourist map has welcomed the arrival of more superfast broadband in the town.

A campaign to help put Glenrothes back on the tourist map has welcomed the arrival of more superfast broadband in the town.

More than 2,200 households and businesses in Glenrothes can now access high-speed fibre services thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme . The work has extended the existing network in Glenrothes itself, as well as bringing fibre for the first time to smaller communities such as Star.

Leslie Bain, Chair of the ‘Go Glenrothes’ campaign joined with Councillors Ian Sloan and John Wincott and the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband team to unveil one of the new fibre street cabinets on Friday (26/2/16).

Local people need to sign up for the new services with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.

The premises are among nearly 40,000 in Fife which are now able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout. Other areas now live thanks to the programme include Ballingry, Cardenden and Kinglassie. More coverage will follow as engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, continue work on the ground.

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.

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme – in partnership with the Scottish Government and BT – will deliver access to fibre broadband to around 95% of premises by the end of March 2018, when combined with existing commercial roll-out plans. The £410 million programme underpins the Scottish Government’s aim for Scotland to become a world class digital nation by 2020.

Delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in their area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland – the partnership currently reaches more than 500,000 premises across the country, with the rollout continuing at pace.

Other funding partners include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund. BT has invested £126 million in the two projects, in addition to its commercial rollout.

The ‘Go Glenrothes’ campaigners aim to promote the town as a go-to destination for tourists visiting Scotland. Through their social media and re-branding of the area, they will promote what is happening locally – as well as creating new ideas and events to attract visitors.

They are always looking for volunteers, businesses, community groups and other organisations to join in and help spread the message. For more information, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GoGlenrothes

Leslie Bain from the ‘Go Glenrothes’ campaign said: “High-speed internet connections bring a huge boost to Glenrothes and it was a pleasure to help announce the arrival of more fibre broadband locally. Not only will it mean that residents can keep up to date with latest news from our campaign, it’ll have a huge benefit for tourists being able to see what the town has to offer and keep in touch with friends and family while they’re visiting.”

Councillor John Wincott, Vice Chair of Fife Council’s Glenrothes Area Committee, added: “It’s good to see this programme reaching more communities and giving an increasing number of homes and businesses the opportunity to connect to high-speed broadband. A high-speed connection has become almost as essential as gas, electricity and water, and it’s great to see this being improved in the Glenrothes area. For businesses in particular, the availability of a reliable, high-speed internet connection can be transformative.”

A number of the homes and businesses in the Glenrothes area were previously served by ‘Exchange Only’ lines. These were once thought to be out of reach of fibre technology as they run directly from the exchange to the premises – bypassing the usual road-side cabinets which are integral to the fibre rollout. Engineers have rearranged the existing network, laying new cables to reroute lines through extra road-side cabinets, to overcome this challenge, with further work planned in central Glenrothes

Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s great news that many residents and businesses in and around Fife are now able to receive fibre broadband thanks to the programme, with more local coverage to follow.

“It was fantastic having the ‘Go Glenrothes’ campaign help us with our celebrations. I hope that they will be able to use the new technology to help with promoting the town.

“The difference that fibre broadband can make is amazing. Once people have signed up with a service provider, it will give much more flexibility whether it’s at work or in the home.”

Liz Mallinson, BT Scotland’s Fibre Broadband Director, added: “Thousands of Fifers 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.

"The latest coverage in Glenrothes builds on BT’s commercial rollout in the town, which covers an additional 15,400 homes and business premises.”

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

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, 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).