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East Dunbartonshire town marks major milestone for UK with High-speed broadband deal

Press Release   •   Nov 08, 2016 10:52 GMT

L to R: Robert Thorburn of BT with local resident Tommy Doherty

A partnership between Bishopbriggs residents and Openreach, BT’s local network business, is to make high-speed fibre broadband available to around a further 200 houses in the town.

Openreach will install new fibre optic cabling and Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology for the project, which is the first in Scotland to benefit from the UK Government’s Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme. As many households connect several internet enabled devices at the same time, the faster speeds will be welcomed by many in the area. Whether it’s downloading the latest box sets or Skyping friends and family, consumers and businesses demand even more from their internet, which these faster speeds will provide. A wide range of service providers will offer fibre broadband speeds from next year.

The contract is the 150th contract to be signed as part of BT’s UK-wide Community Fibre Partnerships programme.

The Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme allows households with internet speeds of less than 2Mbps, who are not included in any current programme to rollout high-speed fibre broadband, to get funding for better broadband using any technology. According to independent data from Thinkbroadband, around 1.3 percent of Scotland could be eligible for the scheme.

Bishopbriggs residents were awarded £350 per eligible household towards a new fibre broadband network and the entire cost of bringing fibre broadband technology to residents in the estate has been covered by the scheme and Openreach’s investment.

Bishopbriggs resident Tommy Doherty, who led a local campaign for an upgrade, said: “Broadband speeds are more important now than ever before. When we knew that we were not included in any current broadband upgrade plans, we felt that a community fibre partnership with BT was the best way forward. Fibre broadband can’t come quickly enough for us all.

“I’ve worked closely with Openreach on the detail and they helped us submit a claim for Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme vouchers to help co-fund the project.”

Robert Thorburn, BT Scotland fibre programme manager, said: “It is very satisfying to work with proactive communities like Bishopbriggs to find a fibre broadband solution in areas that are extremely challenging for other companies to upgrade with private funding alone.

“We’re involved in many similar community fibre partnerships across Scotland to bring faster internet access to even more homes and businesses, and no organisation in Scotland is doing more than BT to roll out superfast fibre broadband to as many people as possible in the fastest possible timeframe.”

Andy Hepburn, fibre rollout director for Openreach in Scotland, said: “Openreach is committed to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible.

“We’ve already delivered superfast broadband speeds to more than two million homes and businesses across Scotland thanks to our own private investment and through the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership with the public sector. Thousands more are benefiting each week as we reach into more areas.”

The Openreach network offers fibre broadband access to service providers on an open, wholesale basis, so local households and businesses have a choice of many different services from more than one hundred service providers.

For more information on community fibre partnerships with BT and the Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme visit www.communityfibre.bt.com