Super-Fast fibre broadband goes live in Kelso
Upgrade hailed by the Rt Hon Michael Moore MP and John Lamont MSP as 2,900 local homes and businesses set to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out
Super-fast broadband has arrived in Kelso, BT announced today.
More than 500 homes and businesses in the Scottish Borders town now have access to the high-speed technology – and this figure will increase to around 2,900 as Openreach engineers complete the local upgrade in the weeks ahead.
Today, the BT investment was welcomed by John Lamont, MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, and the Rt Hon Michael Moore, MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, who described it as great news for the town.
John Lamont MSP said: “Super-fast fibre broadband in Kelso offers huge benefits to local residents and businesses and will help our local economy to flourish. Better, faster communications help businesses to grow and stimulate job creation.”
The Rt Hon Michael Moore MP said: “The arrival of fibre broadband means local people and firms can do more online at faster speeds and on multiple devices. This is great news for Kelso and I look forward to fibre broadband being rolled out across the rest of my constituency.”
Fibre broadband is already available to around 13,500 homes and businesses in Galashiels, Innerleithen and Peebles, with Hawick to follow. By the end of BT’s commercial deployment, more than 23,800 Borders homes and businesses will be able to benefit.
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “Our roll-out of fibre broadband is advancing across the Scottish Borders, with Kelso the latest place to benefit. More than 2.4 million homes and businesses across the UK are already using Openreach’s new fibre network via a range of retailers, bringing speed and choice to the UK. Many Kelso residents will now have the opportunity to join them.
“Whatever you’re doing online, you can do it better and faster with fibre. Whether it’s shopping, downloading music and video, watching TV, social networking, studying or researching homework, once you’ve switched to fibre you’ll never look back.
“Outside the home, it also has huge potential for public services and local firms. Businesses tell us it’s helping them in a wealth of ways, from day to day activities like downloading software, collaborating with clients and moving large data files around to big business decisions like expanding the workforce or introducing better quality IT services at less cost.”
BT’s fibre footprint currently passes more than 18 million UK homes and businesses. It’s due to pass around two-thirds of UK premises by the end of Spring 2014, at least 18 months ahead of the original timetable.
In total, BT is spending more than £3 billion on deploying fibre broadband, including £2.5 billion on its commercial fibre footprint and further funds in rural fibre broadband projects.
In Scotland, BT is investing around £126 million in fibre broadband partnerships with the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Broadband Delivery UK), European Regional Development Fund and local authorities.
Alongside commercial upgrades, these Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband projects will see 85 per cent of Scottish premises passed by fibre broadband by the end of 2015 and around 95 per cent by the end of 2017. These include nearly 5,200 premises in Melrose and Selkirk, which will receive high speed technology for the first time, while hundreds of additional premises will be connected in Galashiels as a result of building upon its existing fibre broadband.
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 delivers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps1 — and could deliver even faster speeds in the future.
Openreach has also started to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, where the fibre runs all the way to the home or business, commercially available on demand2 in certain areas and plans to further expand access. FTTP-on-demand offers the top current download speed of 330Mbps.1
Fibre broadband at home means everyone in the family can do their own thing online, all at the same time, whether it’s downloading music in minutes or watching catch-up TV; streaming HD or 3D movies in a few minutes; or posting photos and videos to social networking sites in seconds. Fibre improves the quality of online experiences and supports new developments in internet services.
Benefits for businesses include faster file and data transfers, better access to cloud computing services and software, more sophisticated web-based contact with customers and support for more flexible working.
Unlike other companies, Openreach offers fibre broadband access to all service providers on an open, wholesale basis, which underpins a competitive market and delivers real customer choice. For further information on Openreach’s fibre broadband programme visit www.superfast-openreach.co.uk
Notes to editors 1 These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
2 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, which may also benefit from the local partnership activity outlined above.