More than 1,400 homes and businesses in East Dunbartonshire can now receive high-speed fibre broadband thanks to the £410M Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership.
The local homes and businesses – in Bearsden and Bishopbriggs – are among more than 150,000 across Scotland which can now access fibre broadband services at speeds of up to 80Mbps* through the Digital Scotland rollout.
And even more will be able to connect in the months ahead as engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, press ahead with the roll-out across the country.
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.
Many local families can now connect to the new technology for the first time, gaining access to new opportunities in areas like online learning and entertainment. It also helps businesses and organisations to diversify and expand their services.
In order to receive fibre broadband, customers should contact their service provider. Local homes can also expect to find postcards landing on their doormats explaining how to sign up for fibre services.
A new interactive map is also live on the Digital Scotland website (http://www.digitalscotland.org/whereandwhen), which allows users to find out if they can get the service.
So far, engineers have laid around 300km of sub-sea cable and 2,400km of cable on land – enough to stretch from Shetland to Land’s End in Cornwall and back again – and installed around 600 new street cabinets to house connections as part of the Digital Scotland rollout.
Announcing the milestone, Depute First Minister John Swinney said: “The rollout of superfast broadband will allow more households in East Dunbartonshire to connect to fibre broadband services for the first time, as well as giving businesses the opportunity to enhance their services.
“It marks another significant step for Scotland and the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership. This is the fastest roll-out of its kind anywhere in the UK, passing 150,000 premises in record time – an engineering feat.
“We are still in the early stages, but already thousands of Scottish homes and businesses are able to take advantage and sign up. They simply wouldn’t have had access to high-speed technology without this ambitious partnership project.”
The Digital Scotland rollout consists of two projects – one covering the Highlands and Islands area and the other covering the rest of Scotland. More than 30,000 premises are now passed by the fibre broadband network in Highlands and Islands and 120,000 in the rest of Scotland. Both projects are being delivered on the ground by BT, which is investing £126m in the programme.
Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, said: “The Digital Scotland projects constitute a massive civil engineering challenge. A lot of the early work has been in planning, surveying and building central infrastructure.
“So it’s really a remarkable achievement to see fibre broadband services already reaching 150,000 homes and business premises in more than 120 communities, including 1,400 premises in East Dunbartonshire. This is just the start for many of these locations as our engineers continue work on local upgrades.”
Councillor Alan Moir, Convener of East Dunbartonshire Council’s Development and Regeneration Committee, said: “It’s great news for the area that superfast broadband coverage is starting to reach more residents and businesses in our communities. We recognise how important this infrastructure is to our local economy and the opportunities it can provide for the people who live and work here. We look forward to more businesses being able to take advantage of it.
“I am particularly pleased for Bearsden and Bishopbriggs as this is the first time they are being offered access to the high-speed technology. Work is also going well to extend access in Kirkintilloch. Thousands of homes and businesses could potentially benefit - boosting the Council’s ongoing efforts to support local economies and communities. Having access to high-speed broadband is now regarded by many as an essential utility for households and businesses - supporting the economy and increasing social inclusion.”
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “The digital landscape of Scotland is going through a remarkable transformation. The UK Government is investing £120 million in superfast broadband for Scotland, and I’m delighted that more than 150,000 Scottish homes and businesses are already able to benefit from the work done so far.”
In total, more than three quarters of a million homes and business premises are expected to benefit from the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband initiative. 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.
Alongside commercial roll-out, the Digital Scotland programme will see around 95 per cent of premises in Scotland able to connect to fibre broadband infrastructure by the end of 2017/18. Locations will be announced quarterly for the life of the projects as the fibre network expands.
Fibre broadband reaches 1,400 more homes and businesses in East Dunbartonshire