Follow BT Regions

Broadband goes up a gear in Kelso - thanks to Digital Scotland

Press release   •   Sep 01, 2017 14:30 BST

Kelso Wheelers' Colin Dumma helps celebrate more fibre availability in Kelso.

More than 1,200 homes and businesses in Kelso are now able to connect to high-speed fibre broadband thanks to the £428M Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

The Digital Scotland team celebrated more fibre availability in the Scottish Borders town this week as they visited a fibre street cabinet that will serve part of the local area. They were joined by Colin Dumma from Kelso Wheelers Cycling Club, Councillor Mark Rowley, Councillor Simon Mountford and Councillor Euan Robson who discovered what goes on inside the green street cabinets.

The latest premises are among around 780,000 homes and businesses across Scotland which are now able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout.

Other local areas to benefit from the Digital Scotland rollout, led by the Scottish Government, include Jedburgh, St. Boswells, Leithholm, Lilliesleaf, Paxton and Morebattle. More local coverage will follow as engineers from Openreach – Scotland’s digital network business - continue work on the ground.

Local people can check the Digital Scotland website - http://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/where-when/ - to find out if they are able to access the latest fibre broadband technology. People need to sign up with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.

Colin Dumma from the Kelso Wheelers said: “It was a pleasure to join the Digital Scotland team to celebrate the availability of fibre broadband in Kelso. It's good to see this project reaching more rural communities and giving an increasing number of homes and businesses here in Kelso the chance to connect to high-speed broadband.

“With the Tour of Britain passing through Kelso on the Sunday we have a number of cycle events planned over the weekend to suit all abilities and ages on road and off road rides. For full and up to date information on each event visit our club Facebook page.”

Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council's Executive Member for Business and Economic Development said: "Superfast broadband is increasingly essential for residents and businesses and I am pleased that this programme, which the Council has contributed significantly to, is extending this service to more local communities.

“Better, faster communications boost businesses, helping them grow and create more jobs and this has a positive impact on the wider local economy too. Both our residents and businesses frequently recognise it as a vital fourth utility.

“Scottish Borders Council is very well aware however that not everybody in our area will benefit from the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme and many residents still suffer with negligible or inadequate access.

"We recognise that this is a significant challenge in the rural Borders so we will work hard with a range of partners to explore and develop alternative methods of significantly improving digital connectivity for every Borders resident and business.”

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 benefit residents and businesses in and around Kelso.

“I would like to thank Colin Dumma, Councillor Mark Rowley, Councillor Simon Mountford and Councillor Euan Robsonfor joining us this week to unveil the latest fibre street cabinet and helping us spread the word. I wish all those involved in the Tour of Britain the best of luck over the weekend.”

Digital Scotland 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. BT is investing £126 million in the rollout, and the total project value includes around £18 million which is being reinvested back in to the programme as a result of stronger than expected early take-up.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach client director for Scotland, said: “Thousands of people in the Scottish Borders now have the opportunity to access their best ever broadband speeds, with the Digital Scotland rollout significantly extending the coverage available in Kelso. 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 – so we’d urge residents to check with their service provider.”

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.

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 2017, BT Group’s reported revenue was £24,062m with reported profit before taxation of £2,354m.

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