Superfast Callum helps Digital Scotland bring Superfast broadband speeds to Kilbarchan and Howwood
Kilbarchan’s Callum Hawkins, the fastest man in Renfrewshire, donned his running shoes again this week to help Digital Scotland welcome the arrival of fibre broadband to Kilbarchan and Howwood.
Almost 1,200 homes and businesses in the two villages are now able to connect to fibre broadband, with more to follow, thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.
They join more than 11,300 homes and businesses in Renfrewshire which are now able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout as engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network business, continue work on the ground.
Callum joined representatives from Digital Scotland and BT and Renfrewshire Council’s Depute Leader, Mike Holmes to un-wrap one of the new street cabinets that will serve part of Kilbarchan.
Callum came second in this year’s Great Scottish Run which took place in Glasgow last Sunday. He was only 24 seconds behind Uganda’s Moses Kipsiro who won the race.
More than 438,000 premises across Scotland can now access fibre broadband services at speeds of up to 80Mbps* as part of the £410 million Digital Scotland rollout. The project underpins the Scottish Government’s aim of delivering world class connectivity by 2020.
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.
Further work is planned in Kilbarchan to extend the network. Some local homes are 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 plan to rearrange the existing network, laying new cables to reroute lines through extra road-side cabinets, to overcome this challenge.
Councillor Mike Holmes, Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: “It’s really exciting to have the fastest man in Renfrewshire here to welcome fibre broadband to his home town of Kilbarchan and neighbouring Howwood.
“Renfrewshire Council knows how important access to high-speed internet technology is to both residents and businesses – which is why we’ve invested in Digital Scotland’s Superfast Broadband programme. I am looking forward to seeing the positive impact the programme will have on the homes and businesses who choose to take advantage of this new infrastructure and would urge people to contact their service providers as soon as possible and start reaping the benefits.”
Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “Residents and businesses in Kilbarchan and Howwood will see a positive boost in what they can achieve online when they contact their service provider to connect to fibre broadband. It’s exciting to be part of such a fantastic programme.
“It was great having superfast Callum here to help us with our celebrations and hope he, and his fellow residents, will be able to use the new technology to enjoy even greater success in the future.”
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 more people in the Renfrewshire now have access to their best ever broadband speeds, and it was great to have a superfast champion in the shape Callum Hawkins here at the starting line in Kilbarchan. As the fibre network continues to extend across the area, making the most of it is vital. I hope local people and businesses will soon be taking advantage of all the opportunities on offer.”
Local people can check the interactive map on the Digital Scotland website (/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
*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.
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).