27
February
2015
|
00:00
Europe/Amsterdam

Superfast Shelby brings Moffat up to speed with fibre broadband

Moffat sporting star and superfast wheelchair racer Shelby Watson has helped celebrate the arrival of high-speed fibre broadband in her Dumfries and Galloway hometown.

Moffat Academy pupil Shelby (17), one of Scotland's most outstanding young wheelchair athletes, and the current Dumfries and Galloway Sportsperson of the Year, unveiled one of the town’s new fibre cabinets at a launch event on Thursday, kitted out in her new Digital Scotland tracksuit.

Moffat households and businesses are among more than 220,000 across Scotland which can now access fibre broadband services at speeds of up to 80Mbps* as part of the £410 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband rollout.

Fibre broadband enables multiple users in a home or business to access the internet, download and share large files at the same time, and more quickly than ever before. In order to take advantage of the higher speeds now available, residents should contact their service provider.

Engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network division, have been working to deliver the high-speed network locally. Around 700 homes and businesses in the area are now able to connect, with more to follow as work continues.

Shelby was also joined by Councillor Ronnie Ogilvie, the Chair of the Annandale and Eskdale Area Committee, and members of the Digital Scotland programme, including BT Scotland’s director Brendan Dick and Sharon van Baroneveld from the Scottish Government, to welcome the arrival of the technology in the area.

Having only been track racing for 18 months, Shelby is ranked No 1 in the UK at every distance from 100-1,500m and won four gold medals during the National Junior Disability Athletics Championships in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m. She also won a bronze medal in her age group in her first ever road race in the London Mini Marathon.

The Digital Scotland rollout of fibre broadband is being delivered on the ground by engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach. With more than 850 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.

Councillor Ogilvie said: “Dumfries and Galloway Council committed to investing £12.6 million in the roll out of Superfast Broadband at a very early stage. It is good to see that investment coming to fruition and communities now realising the benefit.

“We recognise what a difference this will make for our region. Commercially, educationally and socially, this will allow local people to carry out tasks online more quickly and efficiently. This will completely transform how our communities use the internet.

“Thanks to the work that has been done so far, many places in Moffat are able to connect to fibre broadband. Fibre broadband will prove how vital the service is towards our local economy, while also allowing more opportunities to the residents who live and work in the area.”

“It also gives us huge pleasure to have Shelby welcoming it in the area. Shelby plays a vital part within the community and she has worked overwhelmingly hard over the past months. You couldn’t have had anyone more fitting for this event.”

“It also gives us huge pleasure to have Shelby welcoming this digital boost for our area. Shelby has really put our community on the map and has worked overwhelmingly hard over the past months. We couldn’t have had anyone more fitting for this event.”

Shelby said: “It’s great to be part of the Digital Scotland project today. I’m very excited about what the arrival of high speed fibre broadband could mean for Moffat – and I’ll be wearing my new track-suit with pride!”

Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s great news that many residents and businesses in Moffat are now able to receive fibre broadband thanks to the programme. We still have some challenges ahead, but the roll-out is progressing well and our teams are working hard to ensure as many people as possible have access to faster fibre broadband as quickly as possible.

“We’re thrilled that Shelby Watson was able to be here today to unveil the new fibre cabinet. She has done amazingly well during the past year and we wish her all the best 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: “Hundreds of people in Moffat now have access to their best ever broadband speeds, and more will follow. They join more than 126,000 households and business premises across Dumfries and Galloway which can now connect to fibre broadband as a result of Digital Scotland and BT’s commercial rollout of fibre broadband.

“As the new network expands across the region, it’s vital that people make the most of it. Why not find out how you could benefit by signing up with your service provider?”

Residents can check if they are now able to receive high-speed fibre broadband by visitingwww.digitalscotland.org/whereandwhen and entering their landline number or address. Further information is also available on Twitter @ScotSuperfast or Facebook atwww.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 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