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Fibre Showcase brings a broadband boost for Irvine

Press Release   •   May 05, 2016 12:53 BST

Learn about fibre broadband on board the Digital Scotland Mobile Showcase

Digital Scotland’s mobile Showcase is rolling into Irvine next week to help local people find out more about the benefits of high-speed fibre broadband.

Around 800 households and businesses in Irvine can now access high-speed fibre services as part of the £410 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, building on the town’s existing fibre broadband network.

Local people need to sign up for the new services with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.

The premises join around 9,400 in North Ayrshire which are now able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout. Other local areas where fibre broadband is now live as part of the programme include Ardrossan, Dalry, Kilbirnie and Kilwinning.

More coverage will follow as engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, continue work on the ground.

Anyone in the local community interested in finding out how fibre broadband works and the benefits it can provide is welcome to attend the free drop-in event outside the Trinity Church, near the entrance to Rivergate Shopping Centre, Irvine, on Tuesday May 10 between 11am and 3pm.

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 March 2018.

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.

Those who attend the event will be able to climb aboard the Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase, a unique vehicle which features all of the equipment used in the roll-out of fibre broadband.

It includes kit which is familiar to members of the public - like the new green street cabinets - as well as some of the things they don’t often see, such as how fibre-optic cables are ‘blown’ underground.

Members of the Digital Scotland team will also be on hand to get people up to speed with the technology and give advice on areas such as signing up with a service provider.

A small number of Irvine homes and businesses are served by ‘Exchange Only’ lines. These run directly from the exchange to the premises – bypassing the usual road-side cabinets which are integral to the fibre rollout. Engineers will rearrange the existing network, laying new cables to reroute lines through extra road-side cabinets, to overcome this challenge.

Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s great news that many residents and businesses in and around Irvine are now able to receive fibre broadband thanks to the programme, with more local coverage to follow.

“The difference that fibre broadband can make is amazing. Once signed up with a service provider, it will give much more flexibility whether it’s at work or in the home.

“I hope those who attended the event will find it insightful and enjoy visiting our showcase.”

Liz Mallinson, BT Scotland’s Fibre Broadband Director, added: “Thousands of Irvine residents now have the opportunity to access their best ever broadband speeds. Many local people are already enjoying the benefits and we’d urge others to consider signing 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.”

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

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. Further announcements will be made as more areas are able to access the growing fibre infrastructure.

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 more than 170 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. As of 31 March 2016, BT consisted principally of six customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, EE, BT Wholesale and Openreach. With effect from 1 April 2016, the group has been reorganised and the customer-facing lines of business are now: Global Services, Business and Public Sector, Consumer, EE, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

    For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group’s reported revenue was £17,979m with reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.

    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