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Whinhill pupils get a lesson with fibre broadband

Press Release   •   Feb 20, 2017 10:00 GMT

Pupils join Inverclyde Council’s Jim Clocherty, Openreach’s Brian Nicol and Digital Scotland’s Brenda Conway to welcome superfast broadband to Greenock.

Around 1,000 homes and businesses in Greenock are now able to connect to high-speed fibre broadband thanks to the £410m Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

The Digital Scotland team unveiled one of the new fibre street cabinets that will serve part of the town. They were joined by senior pupils from Whinhill Primary School and Inverclyde Council Depute Leader, Councillor Jim Clocherty, who were all excited to discover what goes on inside the green street cabinets.

The latest premises are among more than 710,000 homes and businesses across Scotland which are now able to access fibre broadband through the £410 million Digital Scotland rollout.

To access the latest fibre broadband technology, local people need to sign up with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.

Other local areas to benefit from the Digital Scotland rollout, led by the Scottish Government, include Gourock, Inverkip, Kilmacolm, Port Glasgow, Quarrier’s Village and Wemyss Bay. More local coverage will follow as engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network business, continue work on the ground.

Adam Milligan, a P7 pupil from Whinhill Primary School said: “Usually I use the internet for social media to interact with my friends. Also, I'm a big gamer so it's really important to have a strong, quick connection so that the games will run smoothly and my messages will send. During a team game, a fast connection is important so you can keep pace with your friends who are gaming on the internet with you.”

Head Teacher at Whinhill Primary School, Elizabeth Ruddy, added: “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 town. It was great opportunity for pupils to see the amount of hard engineering work that’s involved in connecting up communities to fibre broadband. As well as this, it also showed them how beneficial it would be when it comes to their school work and various other aspects of their home life.”

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

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.

Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s fantastic news that the programme has been able to launch more fibre broadband to benefit residents and businesses in and around Greenock.

“I would like to thank the senior pupils of Whinhill Primary School and Councillor Jim Clocherty for joining us this week to unveil the fibre street cabinet and I am glad to see that it has been able to benefit the local community.”

BT is investing £126 million in the Digital Scotland rollout.

Robert Thorburn, BT Scotland’s Fibre Broadband Director, concluded: “Thousands of residents across Inverclyde can now connect to their best ever broadband speeds when they sign up with a service provider, and we’d encourage local people to check out their options.

“It’s a highly competitive market, so people could potentially be surfing at much higher speeds at a similar cost to their current service. Once you’ve made the switch to super-fast, we’re confident you’ll never look back.”

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.

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