Delivering fast broadband

L to R, Robert Thorburn (BT Scotlands fibre broadband director) and Community campaigner Graeme Brown.
L to R, Robert Thorburn (BT Scotlands fibre broadband director) and Community campaigner Graeme Brown.

Superfast broadband is coming to more homes in Woodilee after a successful community campaign.

Residents in 59 local households in Woodcroft Drive, Sandmartin Grove and Barony Drive will be able to order new high-speed fibre broadband services for the first time, thanks to a partnership between the community and BT.

The entire cost of delivering the new technology has been covered by Openreach, BT’s local network division, and the UK Government’s Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme, which supports households and businesses which are not covered by any current fibre broadband rollout plans and experience speeds below 2Mbps.

The new network, which offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps, will cover homes in Woodcroft Drive, Sandmartin Grove and Barony Drive, and is expected to be switched on by the end of this year.

Community campaigner Graeme Brown, of Woodcroft Drive, said: “Slow internet speed has been a hot topic in the growing community of Woodilee for a long time.

“While some residents’ services have recently been upgraded, almost 60 households were left behind struggling along in the slow lane. It was really frustrating.

“Having explored all the options we decided to talk to Openreach about a Community Fibre Partnership and we’re delighted to put pen to paper to bring much faster speeds to more local homes. Surfing at speeds which will be many times faster than what we’re used to will make a huge difference to many fellow residents.

“Broadband is rightly regarded as the fourth utility and equal access to a fast internet connection is increasingly necessary for local families, home workers and businesses across the community. We’re all delighted to know superfast is on the way.”

Robert Thorburn, BT Scotland’s fibre broadband director, said: “We’ve been aware of the residents’ campaign for better broadband in Woodilee for some time.

“Two fibre cabinets, serving around 350 Woodilee homes, went live last year through our Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership with the public sector. But this still left a gap for the 59 premises that can now look forward to fibre by the end of this year.

“We expect them to achieve download speeds at the higher end of the spectrum because their new fibre street cabinet will be so close to the properties.

“Our ambition is to ‘never say no’ to any community that wants superfast broadband, and we’re really pleased we found a way forward in Woodilee which testifies to that. We’re keen to have conversations with other communities who might benefit from this approach.”

Kim Mears, Openreach’s managing director for infrastructure delivery, added: “Partnerships like this help us to bring high-speed connections to challenging areas that broadband providers struggle to upgrade alone.

“More than 92 per cent of Scotland can access fibre broadband today, and we’re committed to making it as widely available as possible. That’s why we’re working in partnership with hundreds of UK communities on projects similar to this one in Woodilee.”

To find out if your community could benefit from the scheme register at www.communityfibre.bt.com/#register.