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Brechin scores a fibre boost thanks to Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband

Press Release   •   Aug 11, 2017 11:36 BST

Ken Ferguson, Chairman of Brechin Football Club helps welome fibre broadband to Brechin with Samantha Lindsay-Dorward (Digital Scotland Community Project Officer) and Millar Young (Openreach Engineer)

More than 700 homes and businesses in Brechin are now able to connect to high-speed fibre broadband thanks to the £428M Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

The Digital Scotland team celebrated the latest fibre availability in the Angus town this week as they visited a fibre street cabinet that will serve part of the local area. They were joined Ken Ferguson, Chairman of Brechin Football Club, who was excited to discover what goes on inside the green street cabinets.

The latest premises are among around 780,000 homes and businesses across Scotland which are now able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout.

Other areas in Angus to benefit from the rollout, led by the Scottish Government, include parts of Arbroath, Kirriemuir, Monifieth, Wellbank and Carnoustie. More local coverage will follow as engineers from Openreach – Scotland’s digital network business - continue work on the ground.

Local people can check the Digital Scotland website - scotlandsuperfast.com - to find out if they are able to access the latest fibre broadband technology. People need to sign up with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.

Ken Ferguson, Chairman of Brechin Football Club said: “It was a pleasure to join the Digital Scotland team to celebrate the availability of fibre broadband in Brechin. It's good to see this project reaching more communities and giving an increasing number of homes and businesses the chance to connect to high-speed broadband.”

Councillor Ron Sturrock added “We are delighted that work continues as part of the rollout of super-fast broadband in Angus. A large proportion of premises in Angus now have the opportunity to utilise super-fast broadband in their homes and businesses. We encourage those within the area to check on the interactive Digital Scotland map and in cases where it is not available that they register their interest.

“In addition to the national programme to deliver super-fast broadband across the county Angus Council is continuing work to enable radio broadband installations to provide radio broadband to rural schools. Services across the council are working together to maximise infrastructure opportunities available and are currently engaging with local businesses on a pilot project to offer radio broadband to those located within Kirkton Industrial Estate, Arbroath and Orchardbank Business Park, Forfar along with some rural businesses. More information about this pilot project for businesses who may wish to consider this opportunity can be obtained by contacting Kirsty Macari: macarik@angus.gov.uk

Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable broadband connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps* and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from. Across Angus more than 11,000 homes and businesses can benefit from fibre broadband thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme. Whether you own a business, work from home or want to keep in touch with friends and family, fibre broadband enables multiple users to connect to the internet at high speeds and get better, faster access to online services.

Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s fantastic news that the programme has been able to launch more fibre broadband to benefit residents and businesses in and around Brechin.

“I would like to thank Ken for joining us this week to unveil the fibre street cabinet and I am glad to see that it has been able to benefit the local community.”

Digital Scotland funding partners include the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, BT, the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund. BT is investing £126 million in the rollout, and the total project value includes around £18 million which is being reinvested back in to the programme as a result of stronger than expected early take-up.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach client director for Scotland, said: “Thousands of people in Angus now have the opportunity to access their best ever broadband speeds when they sign up with a service provider. There’s lots of competition out there and people may find they could be surfing at much higher speeds at a similar cost to their current service.”

Further information is also available on Twitter @ScotSuperfast or Facebook at www.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast

ENDS

*These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

Notes to editors:

Due to the current network topography and the economics of deployment, it is likely that not all premises within selected exchange areas will be able to access fibre-based broadband at the same point in the roll-out.

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme aims to provide fibre broadband infrastructure to parts of Scotland not included in commercial providers’ investment plans. Combined with current commercial roll-out plans, the programme will deliver access to fibre broadband to around 95% of premises by the end of the current contract.

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 180 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 of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2017, BT Group’s reported revenue was £24,062m with reported profit before taxation of £2,354m.

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