RNLI Crew Launches Fibre Broadband In Fraserburgh
Fraserburgh’s RNLI crew was on hand last week to welcome the rollout of Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband in the town.
More than 2,000 homes and businesses in the Aberdeenshire town can now get connected to the high-speed network – thanks to the Digital Scotland programme. It builds on BT’s commercial rollout in Fraserburgh, which passes nearly 5,000 local homes and businesses.
The latest premises 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 rollout.
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.
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.
Crew members from Fraserburgh’s RNLI station helped with the celebrations at a special event last week. They joinedRoddy Matheson, Aberdeenshire’sService Manager for Industry Sectors, and members from the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme to unveil one of the new street cabinets that will serve part of the town.
On the day, residents were also able to attend a special drop-in event on Saltoun Square, where representatives from the Digital Scotland team were on hand to get people up to speed with the technology and provide advice on areas such as signing up with a service provider.
Attendees at the event also climbed 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.
Many of the homes and businesses in the Fraserburgh area were previously 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 rearranged the existing network, laying new cables to reroute lines through extra road-side cabinets to overcome this challenge.
Victor Sutherland Coxswain/Mechanic from Fraserburgh’s RNLI Lifeboat Station, said: “It was great that myself and the other crew members from Fraserburgh’s RNLI could help with the launch of fibre broadband in the town.
“Keeping people aware of how to be safe around Scotland’s dangerously unpredictable waters is one of the many things the RNLI are committed to. With fibre broadband, users can now have better access our website and social media and keep up to date with information regarding weather forecasts and how to keep safe and be aware of how Scotland’s cold water needs respect.”
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 Banff and Buchan Area Committee, Councillor John Cox, said: “It’s really exciting to hear that so many residences in and around Fraserburgh 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 were happy that many residents from Fraserburgh and other surrounding communities came along to the event on Saltoun Square to see 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 are now able to receive fibre broadband thanks to the programme. The difference it can make is amazing, giving much more flexibility at work or in the home.
“It was fantastic that some of the crew members from the RNLI centre were able to help us with our celebrations. And it makes it all the more satisfying knowing that our drop-in event had such a welcoming response from Fraserburgh’s residents.”
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 now have access to their best ever broadband speeds, with the 2,000 now able to access the technology via the Digital Scotland project building on BT’s commercial rollout which already covered nearly 5,000 local homes and businesses.
“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