Hundreds of homes and businesses in Motherwell are now able to connect to fibre broadband thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.
More than 1,100 properties in the town join over 12,500 homes and businesses in North Lanarkshire which are able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout – with more local coverage to follow.
It builds on BT’s commercial rollout in Motherwell, which passes 14,800 local homes and businesses.
Other areas that are live thanks to the programme include Caldercruix, Stepps, Salsburgh, Plains and Chryston – with more areas planned in the coming months.
The latest premises are among more than 394,000 across Scotland which can now access fibre broadband services at speeds of up to 80Mbps* as part of the £410 million Digital Scotland rollout.
Fibre broadband enables multiple users in a home or business to access the internet, download and share large files at the same time more quickly than ever before. In order to take advantage of the higher speeds now available, residents should contact their service provider.
The rollout is being delivered on the ground by engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach. With more than 1,600 new cabinets now installed across Scotland to house the fibre connections, the project underpins the Scottish Government’s aim of delivering world class connectivity by 2020.
On hand to unveil one of the cabinets which will provide fibre to the town were David Fagan – Convenor for North Lanarkshire Council – and Mark Dames, head of policy for BT.
North Lanarkshire Council regeneration convener David Fagan said: “The availability of superfast broadband is an absolute essential for businesses and domestic users.
“Many urban centres have enjoyed the benefits of fibre connections and now it is being rolled out to some of the smaller, more difficult to reach communities across our area, helped in part by a £700,000 grant from the council.
“Given the scope of North Lanarkshire businesses’ customers – local, national, and international – reliable high-speed communication is vital.”
Motherwell councillor Michael Ross said: “I'm delighted that this enhanced service is now available for businesses and families in the Motherwell area. I hope that as many people as possible are able to take advantage of this.”
Sara Budge, programme director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s great news that many residents and businesses in and around Motherwell are now able to receive fibre broadband thanks to the programme, with more coverage to follow.
“The difference a high-speed connection can make is amazing, giving much more flexibility at work or in the home. Local people need to sign up with a service provider to experience all the benefits.”
BT is investing £126 million in the Digital Scotland programme, in addition to its commercial rollout of fibre broadband in Scotland.
Mark Dames, head of policy for BT Scotland, said: “Thousands more people in North Lanarkshire now have access to their best ever broadband speeds thanks to the Digital Scotland project. Including BT’s commercial rollout, nearly 90,000 North Lanarkshire homes and businesses can now upgrade to high-speed fibre broadband by contacting their service provider.
“As the fibre network extends across the area, making the most of it is vital. I hope local people and businesses will soon be taking advantage of all the opportunities on offer.”
Local people can check the interactive map on the Digital Scotland website (http://www.digitalscotland.org/whereandwhen) 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
*These are the top wholesale speeds available to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
While many premises in enabled areas now have access to fibre broadband, some may not be able to connect due to network topography and other technological factors. To be sure that you can get fibre broadband, check with your internet service provider.
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, 85 per cent of premises in Scotland will have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2015/16 and around 95 per cent by the end of 2017/18.
The Digital Scotland rollout consists of two projects – one covering the Highlands and Islands area and the other covering the rest of Scotland. Funding partners include the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund as well as BT.
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).
Pictured unwrapping one of the new Motherwell street cabinets are (L to R) David Fagan, North Lanarkshire Council regeneration convener; Chris Wond, Economic Development Officer for North Lanarkshire Council; Brenda Conway, Community Officer for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband; Mark Dames, head of policy for BT Scotland; and John Darley, Digital Scotland communications.