Tuesday, 28 October 2014
South Ayrshire gets more superfast broadband coverage
More than 5,600 homes and business in South Ayrshire will be next to benefit from fibre broadband in the latest phase of the £410 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.
Annbank, Joppa, Tarbolton and Maybole have all been announced as the next areas to be passed by the Digital Scotland deployment of high-speed fibre broadband, with the first premises expected to benefit during spring 2015.
Local people will have access to fibre services at speeds of up to 80Mbps1, thanks to the engineering rollout being delivered on the ground by BT’s local network business, Openreach. The new infrastructure will mean that multiple users in a home or business will be able to access the internet and download and share large files at the same time and more quickly than ever before, if they sign up to the service.
All of the places announced in this phase will receive high speed technology for the first time.
The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme aims to provide fibre broadband infrastructure to areas not covered by commercial deployment. Combined with commercial roll-out plans by the private sector, around 85% of premises in Scotland will have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2015/16 and 95% by the end of 2017/18.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The scale of the challenge of delivering fibre broadband across our communities in Scotland shouldn’t be underestimated but engineers are working hard and making good progress. It’s fantastic to see the project extending into places like Maybole, which will really benefit from the economic advantages fibre broadband brings.
“It’s a fundamental part of the Scottish Government’s aim to deliver world class connectivity by 2020, enabling people across Scotland to connect any time, any place, anywhere using any device.”
The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband initiative consists of two projects – one covering the Highlands and Islands area, led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and the other covering the Rest of Scotland. The first cabinets went live in March and April of this year in Buckie and Kirkton of Skene, Aberdeenshire. In total, more than three quarters of a million homes and business premises are expected to benefit.
BT is investing £126 million in the partnership programme, in addition to its £2.5bn UK commercial rollout of fibre broadband. The advance of the partnership roll-out, coupled with BT’s ongoing commercial upgrades, means that more than 1.3m Scottish homes and businesses now have access to Openreach’s fibre broadband network.
BT Scotland director Brendan Dick said: “The arrival of fibre broadband in these latest South Ayrshire communities will be great news for local homes and businesses. In a few months’ time local people will be streaming, shopping, learning and sharing faster than ever before. Fibre broadband opens up lots of new online opportunities, whether you’re a busy mum juggling work with homework, a commuter wanting to work from home or a business contemplating moving functions to the cloud.
“The civil engineering project underpinning this new network is not just one of the biggest in Scotland but is among the most complex anywhere in Europe. Openreach has been recruiting dozens of extra engineers to help shape Scotland’s future and many of our young apprentices are gaining valuable experience helping to connect up people to fibre in local communities across Scotland.”
Councillor Bill Grant, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure, said: “The introduction of superfast broadband in our towns and villages will make a massive difference, especially in our rural areas. This will transform how these homes and businesses work, learn and play and will be a real boost for our communities. I look forward to the continued roll-out of broadband across our area and know it will get a very warm welcome wherever it’s introduced in South Ayrshire.”
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “The UK Government is investing more than £120m in the transformation of Scotland’s digital landscape, and today’s announcement of the next 80,000 homes and businesses in Scotland due to benefit from the rollout of superfast broadband is fantastic news.”
Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband 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.
Locations will be announced quarterly over the life of the projects as the fibre network rolls out across Scotland. Further local detail will be provided as plans advance and anyone interested in the roll-out can keep up to date and get more detail at www.digitalscotland.org
South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.