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Faster broadband for Gatehead

Press Release   •   Feb 22, 2017 15:38 GMT

More than 100 homes in the village of Gatehead near Kilmarnock now have access to much faster broadband speeds for the first time – thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast broadband rollout.

The Gatehead homes were too far from their original fibre broadband street cabinet to see much improvement in speed. So engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network business, rearranged the network to route all the lines through a new cabinet closer to the village, which has now gone live with the high-speed technology.

Broadband speeds are affected by the distance a household or business is from the cabinet.The additional work reduced the cable length by nearly 800 metres, providing villagers with access to superfast speeds up to 80Mbps*, which can be ordered through their chosen internet service providers. Around one in four local households has already upgraded to the faster speeds.

Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “We were aware of a Facebook community campaign to improve various local services in Gatehead, the broadband speed of around 0.5Mbps being one of their priorities. We had another look at what could be done and in this instance we were able to come up with a cost-effective plan to significantly increase speeds.”

Robert Thorburn, BT Scotland’s fibre broadband director, added: “We’re working hard to bring the fastest broadband to the most people possible with the funds available. We hope local people will be pleased with this progress and encourage them to check if they can now sign up for the faster services.”

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*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.

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.

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:

    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 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.

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