05
November
2015
|
10:51
Europe/Amsterdam

Have yourself a fibre broadband Christmas

Summary
Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband is lighting up Christmas for communities* across Scotland – by offering them the chance to win a festive fibre-optic tree.

Win a community Christmas tree with Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband

Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband is lighting up Christmas for communities* across Scotland – by offering them the chance to win a festive fibre-optic tree.

With Christmas fast approaching, the Digital Scotland team today launched a competition offering five luxury trees to help spread the festive cheer to local halls and community centres.

The £410 million Digital Scotland rollout has reached more than 455,000 households and businesses across Scotland, which can now access fibre broadband services at speeds of up to 80Mbps**.

More homes and businesses will be included in the fibre broadband roll-out in the coming months as engineers from BT’s local network business Openreach continue work on the ground – and for many local people, there’s still time to sign up with your service provider before Christmas.

Digital Scotland is inviting qualifying communities* across Scotland to enter its Christmas tree competition on Facebook. To enter, all you have to do is email a photo of your community hall or centre to scotlandsuperfast@gmail.com telling us who you are and why your community deserves to win a new Christmas tree.

Photos will be added to our Christmas Facebook gallery where friends, family and the local community can get behind the bid to win by ‘liking’ your entry. The winners will be the communities with the most ‘likes’ on Facebook (www.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast).

The main prize is a 12ft high, LED-lit artificial Christmas tree, while four regional runners-up will each scoop an 8ft fibre-optic artificial tree. All five prizes are designed for indoor use only. The closing date for entries is 30 November 2015.

Sara Budge, programme director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “With many homes and businesses now being able to connect to fibre broadband through our programme, I hope that lots of residents will benefit from faster broadband speeds as Christmas approaches, once they’ve signed up with a service provider.

“This competition is really exciting for communities that have already benefited from the Digital Scotland rollout as well as ones looking forward to being connected in the future. They have the chance to win a luxury Christmas tree which will brighten up any community hall or area.”

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, added: “Fibre broadband in the run-up to Christmas will be as useful as one of Santa’s elves for help with tasks from finding stocking fillers online to streaming your favourite festive films or exchanging virtual season’s greetings over the web with your loved ones anywhere in the world.

“A high speed connection will keep everyone in your household happy this Christmas as they can all be online at the same time whatever their internet interests.

“Businesses will also benefit with high-speed help to handle an influx of orders and enquiries, while also being able to keep in touch with suppliers and clients or work at home in the event of bad weather.

“This competition is all about celebrating the progress of the Digital Scotland fibre broadband rollout during 2015 and we hope lots of local communities will send in their photos and show us why they should win.”

If you’d like to receive fibre broadband for Christmas, visit www.scotlandsuperfast.com or contact your internet service provider to find out more.

Members of the Digital Scotland team will also be visiting a number of communities across Scotland in the run-up to Christmas. They will host free drop-in events where people can get up to speed with fibre technology and seek advice on areas such as signing up with a service provider. To find out if the team will be visiting anywhere near you, check our Facebook (www.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast) and Twitter (@scotsuperfast) pages.

Photo caption: Digital Scotland community officer Brenda Conway assists Santa and his helper with the delivery of the Christmas trees.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

*The competition is open to all communities with postcodes that are included in the Digital Scotland intervention area for fibre deployment – any community that isn’t certain can email their postcode to scotlandsuperfast@gmail.com to check. The nominated location for the Christmas tree must be a venue that is used by the community. Full rules and terms and conditions can be found here www.digitalscotland.org/christmas-competition

**These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

Contact: For further information about this release contact the BT Scotland press office on 0800 085 0660.

Background

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).

About BDUK

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:

  • £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017
  • £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
  • £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services
  • Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life. For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk