Digital Scotland got its groove on this week, as musician Euan Stevenson took time out of rehearsing for his Falkirk Live! concert to help launch the latest Digital Scotland fibre broadband in the area.
Pianist Euan joined Councillor Dr Craig Martin, portfolio holder for the Environment at Falkirk Council, Douglas Cameron, of Falkirk Live! organisers Eden Consultancy – working closely with Jazz Scotland, and members of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband team to unveil one of the new street cabinets that will serve part of the town.
Local people need to sign up for the new services with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.
Euan and the New Focus Quartet play as part of Falkirk Live! - a fresh weekend festival of live music. Devised and developed by the design, marketing and project management agency, Eden Consultancy in conjunction with leading music promoter Jazz Scotland, the three-day music event is dedicated to all types of music including jazz, blues, classical and folk.
Douglas Cameron, Managing Director for Eden Consultancy, said: “It was very exciting to have Euan Stephenson from New Focus Quartet help celebrate the Digital Scotland fibre broadband rollout to Falkirk. It’ll certainly have a positive effect for many more people across the area.
“Falkirk Live! has only launched this year, and an improved internet connection will allow users to stay in touch with our activity and continue supporting us throughout the year. The festival aims to promote and celebrate music across a number of genres, and it’s an opportunity to discover groups and artists as well. It’s also great way to access their catalogue of work and keep up-to-date with tours and new material.”
Across Scotland, more than 645,000 premises are now able to connect to fibre-based services through the £410 million Digital Scotland project, led by the Scottish Government. That includes around 700 households and businesses in Falkirk, building on existing commercial coverage locally.
The premises are among thousands in the Falkirk local authority area which are now able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout, with other areas benefiting including Larbert, Brightons, Redding and Polmont. More local coverage will follow as engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network business, continue work on the ground.
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. 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.
Anyone in the local community interested in finding out how fibre broadband works and the benefits it can provide is welcome to attend a free drop-in event at Falkirk Library, Hope St, between 10am and 1pm on Tuesday November 1. There will also be another drop-in event at Larbert Library, Hallam Road, between 10am and 1pm on Thursday November 10.
The Digital Scotland team will also be on hand to get people up to speed with the technology and provide advice on areas such as signing up with a service provider.
Dr Craig Martin, Falkirk Council’s spokesperson for the Environment, said: “Access to fast broadband is becoming an everyday necessity for both residents and visitors alike as so many aspects of our daily lives now have a massive requirement for this type of service.
“Any programme that expands this access is to be welcomed and with the continuing roll out across the Falkirk Council area, this can only mean better services for our communities to sign up for.”
The £410 million Digital Scotland programme underpins the Scottish Government’s aim for Scotland to become a world class digital nation by 2020. It’s delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in their area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland.
Other funding partners include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund. BT is investing £126 million in the two projects, in addition to its commercial rollout.
Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s great news that many residents and businesses in Falkirk are now able to receive fibre broadband through the programme, with more local coverage to follow.
“A huge thanks to Euan Stephenson for taking time out of his rehearsals with the New Focus Quartet to join us with our celebrations.
“The difference that fibre broadband can make is amazing. Once people have signed up with a service provider, it will give much more flexibility whether it’s at work or in the home booking your concert tickets!”
Liz Mallinson, BT Scotland’s Fibre Broadband Director, added: “Thousands of residents in Falkirk can now get connected to their best ever broadband speeds.
“Many local people are already enjoying the benefits and whether you use the internet to book concert tickets, discover new bands or stream the latest live gig, you’ll be applauding a move to the fast lane.”
Local people can check the interactive map on the Digital Scotland website (http://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/where-when/) 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
*These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
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
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 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.
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