30
June
2015
|
13:39
Europe/Amsterdam

Top Of The Class For Superfast Broadband Competition

Summary
School pupil Somhairle Fraser had a superfast start to summer after winning the top prize in a Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband postcard competition.

School pupil Somhairle Fraser had a superfast start to summer after winning the top prize in a Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband postcard competition.

Somhairle, a third year pupil from the Community School of Auchterarder, was chosen from a number of entries from the S3 computer design and technology class, winning an Apple TV.

Pupils were tasked with designing an eye-catching postcardto alert people when fibre broadband is available in their area, explain the benefits of the high-speed service and outline what people need to do if they want to order a service.

The design will land on local doormats when the fibre deployment is completed in the area.For his winning card design, Somhairle received a certificate and a new Apple TV. Two runners-up in the competition – Caitlin Steptoe and Caitlin McLaren – also received iTunes vouchers and certificates.

The competition was an opportunity for the pupils to imagine that they were professional graphic designers working for a creative agency commissioned by the programme.

Judges – including the Convener of the Enterprise and Infrastructure Committee for Perth and Kinross Council, John Kellas, and senior members from the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme – faced a difficult decision to choose a winner out of some brilliant entries. Amongst the unique and creative designs, it was Somhairle’s which stood out.

Somhairle was presented with his prize by Councillor Kellas. He said: “It’s really great to have won this competition – I’m looking forward to using my prize.”

Nearly 900 homes and businesses in and around Auchterarder are now able to connect to the new network, with more to follow as engineers from BT’s local network business Openreach continue work on the rollout.

Councillor Kellas said: “It’s really exciting to hear that hundreds of homes in Auchterarder can now connect to fibre broadband and more are to follow. 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 a high-speed network.

“Broadband will make a big difference to residents, especially within secondary education where you can access a number of resource materials online and carry out research on apprenticeships, colleges and universities. I’m sure it will have a great impact on pupils’ future careers.”

Alison Thomson, design teacher at the Community School of Auchterarder, said: “I’m delighted that Somhairle won such an exciting competition. All the designs were fantastic and each pupil worked extremely hard on the task. It makes it all the more valuable knowing that the school has contributed to something which will benefit people in their community. This sort of task was perfect for our pupils hoping to pursue a career in graphic design, giving them first-hand experience of what they would expect in the industry.”

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme aims to provide fibre broadband infrastructure to parts of Scotland not included in commercial providers’ investment plans.

Some of Auchterarder’s homes and businesses 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 will be rearranging existing network and laying new cable to reroute lines through extra road-side cabinets to overcome this challenge.

Once engineering work is complete, local people can access download speeds of up to 80 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps* by contactingtheir chosen service providers.

Users can also 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

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

    About BT

    BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world.It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of five customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

    For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group’s reported revenue was £17,979m with reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.

    British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

    For more information, visit www.btplc.com.

    Contact: Fiona Smith, DSSB Communications Manager, 07580 902871; or Anna Steven in the BT Scotland press office on 0800 085 0660.