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Kincardine O’Neil pupils get a lesson with fibre broadband

Press Release   •   Nov 29, 2016 14:00 GMT

Openreach project co-ordinator Ian Elrick shows pupils the inner workings of a fibre cabinet.

It was top marks for Digital Scotland last week as pupils from Kincardine O’Neil Primary School helped welcome the arrival of fibre broadband to the village.

Around 200 households and businesses in Kincardine O’Neil can now access high-speed fibre services as part of the £410 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

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

The premises join more than 67,300 homes and businesses across Aberdeenshire – and more than 660,000 across Scotland – that are now able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout.

Other areas now live thanks to the programme include Inverurie, Dunecht, Edzell, Kirkton of Auchterless, Meikle Wartle and Westhill Industrial Estate in Kingswells. More local coverage will follow as engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network business, continue work on the ground.

Head Teacher Frances Ridley and senior pupils from Kincardine O’Neil Primary School helped with the celebrations at a special event on Friday. They joined Councillor Jill Webster, Councillor for Banchory and Mid Deeside, and Councillor Karen Clark, as well as members from the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, to unveil one of the new street cabinets that will serve part of the village.

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.

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme – in partnership with the Scottish Government and BT – will deliver access to fibre broadband to around 95% of premises when combined with existing commercial roll-out plans. The £410 million programme underpins the Scottish Government’s aim for Scotland to become a world class digital nation by 2020.

Other funding partners include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund. BT has invested £126 million in the two projects, in addition to its commercial rollout.

Councillor Jill Webster said: “It's good to see this project reaching more communities and giving an increasing number of homes and businesses the opportunity to connect to high-speed broadband. We are determined to make sure everyone in Aberdeenshire has access to digital services and the skills and confidence to go online and use them, even from a young age.”

Frances Ridley said: “It was fantastic to have the Digital Scotland team visit the school and involve some of the pupils in helping launch the latest fibre broadband in the village. It was a great opportunity for pupils to see the amount of hard engineering work that’s involved in connecting up communities to fibre broadband.

“Learning and Teaching experiences at Kincardine O’ Neil Primary embrace the opportunities of a digital rich world. We motivate and challenge all pupils to be confident and skilled using new technologies that will be embedded in their future.”

Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s great news that many residents and businesses in and around villages like Kincardine O’Neil 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.”

Liz Mallinson, BT Scotland’s Fibre Broadband Director, ended: “Thousands of people in Aberdeenshire 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.

“We’d like to thank the school for being involved – it’s great that local pupils are able to get an insight into how high-speed technology powers the internet and learn about a very positive side to a career in engineering.”

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 atwww.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.

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: 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 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