Superfast broadband will be par for the course now in Auchterarder – thanks to the roll-out of the £410 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.
In September, Auchterarder plays host to the 2014 Ryder Cup and, starting this week, residents and businesses in the village will now be able to connect to high-speed fibre broadband – opening a wide variety of benefits to them.
The installation of the new infrastructure is part of the roll out of the programme across Scotland, as BT engineers deploy the technology. The start of its arrival in the village means that many local businesses and residents will be able to benefit from fibre broadband ahead of the golfing event.
The Auchterarder premises are among more than 56,500 across 14 local authority areas in Scotland due to see fibre broadband services offering speeds of up to 80Mbp rolling out in the autumn.
Fibre broadband will mean that multiple users in a home or business will be able to access the internet and download and share large files at the same time and more quickly than ever before.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Today marks an important milestone for the people of Auchterarder as well as for the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership.
“This programme will lay the foundations of a world class digital Scotland by extending fibre broadband access to parts of Scotland that wouldn’t otherwise be served commercially, which is vitally important in communities such as Auchterarder.
“The scale of the challenge of delivering fibre broadband into rural Scotland outstrips any other part of the UK and will generate significant economic benefits, including new jobs and increased productivity.
“This is an important step towards ensuring that Scotland has world-class digital connectivity by 2020. Our investment, and that of our partners in the project, will extend access to superfast broadband across Scotland. This will be a key factor in ensuring Scotland’s long-term economic prosperity.”
Carol Wood, owner of local coffee house Cocoa Mountain, and Chairperson of the Auchterarder Community Partnership, welcomed the news.
She said: “The arrival of fibre broadband to Auchterarder is great news, whether your business is tourism or not. So many potential customers look for this service and knowing that we will be able to offer it to them is great news, both for the Ryder Cup and for the coming years.”
Councillor John Kellas, convenor of Perth & Kinross Council Enterprise and Infrastructure Committee, said: “It’s fantastic to see yet more progress on keeping Perth and Kinross connected. Faster broadband connections are increasingly important for business and leisure and can be a key selling point for areas looking to attract inward investment. I’m delighted that Auchterarder and the surrounding area will be benefitting in time for The 2014 Ryder Cup.”
The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband initiative consists of two projects – one covering the Highlands and Islands area and the other covering the rest of Scotland. Both projects are being delivered on the ground by BT, which is investing £126m in the programme.
The fibre connection at Auchterarder is one of the first of a programme of installations throughout Perth and Kinross from the £410 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership. Perth and Kinross Council has contributed £1.2 million towards the project.
James McClafferty, BT Scotland partnership director, said: “As Scotland’s only national network provider, BT is proud of its part in the Digital Scotland superfast broadband programme. The fibre pioneers in this Perth and Kinross community will be among the first in Scotland to benefit from the partnership, with many more to follow. We hope local people and businesses will welcome this milestone.
“We’re particularly pleased to have the first cabinets live in the run up to the Ryder Cup. Following the excitement and success of the Commonwealth Games, it’s the next great sporting opportunity to put Scotland on the international map - and a superb chance to showcase our nation’s capabilities here in Perthshire.”
Edward Kitson, Ryder Cup Match Director said: “We are thrilled that Auchterarder will be receiving superfast broadband in time for The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. We want technology to be a key part of the Ryder Cup experience in September and therefore welcome the news that residents, businesses and visitors to the area will be better connected.”
Westminster Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: “This fantastic news marks the next stage of a remarkable transformation of broadband in Perth and Kinross and beyond, which will see around 95 per cent of premises in Scotland connected to fibre broadband infrastructure by 2017/18. We understand how important access to superfast broadband is, which is why the UK Government is investing more than £100m in broadband for Scotland. The widespread access to superfast broadband that our rollout will deliver will provide a tremendous boost to the Scottish economy.”
In total, more than three quarters of a million homes and business premises are expected to benefit from the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband initiative. Funding partners include the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Development Fund as well as BT.
Alongside the commercial roll-out of superfast broadband, the Digital Scotland programme will see around 95 per cent of premises in Scotland connected to fibre broadband infrastructure by 2017/18. Locations will be announced quarterly for the life of the projects.
The Rest of Scotland project is being supported through £157.6million public funding including £50 million from BDUK and BT’s private investment of £106.7million. The public funding includes funding from all 27 local authorities in the project area and additional funding from 14 local authorities who are investing around £51 million to increase coverage, meet local priorities and address the digital divide in their areas. Coupled with the investment in the Highlands and Islands region announced earlier in the year, it brings the total investment in fibre broadband in Scotland to more than £410 million.
The Rest of Scotland project area includes the following local authority areas: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, parts of Argyll & Bute, Clackmannanshire, Dumfries & Galloway, Dundee City, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, City of Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow City, Inverclyde, Midlothian, North Ayrshire (apart from the Islands), North Lanarkshire, Perth & Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian.
The Highlands and Islands broadband project is being led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and includes the following local authority areas: Highland, Moray, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands, Eilean Siar (Western Isles), parts of Argyll and Bute and part of North Ayrshire (Islands).
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