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Digital Scotland’s fibre showcase visits Dundee high schools

Press release   •   May 19, 2017 11:00 BST

Pupils from St John's RC High School learn about the benefits of fibre broadband

Pupils at three local high schools - St John's RC and Morgan Academy in Dundee and Grove Academy in Broughty Ferry - this week got the chance to learn about technology on board the Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase.

More than 3,500 households and businesses across Dundee City can now access high-speed fibre services thanks to the £428 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband project. Local people need to sign up for the new, faster services with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.

The Showcase is a unique vehicle which features equipment used in the roll-out of fibre broadband. During the visit, pupils learned through interactive activities about fibre broadband and how it’s delivered.

The local premises are among more than 745,000 homes and businesses across Scotland that are now able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout, led by the Scottish Government.

Local areas to benefit from the programme include Broughty Ferry, several parts of Dundee and Lochee. More local coverage will follow as engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network business, continue work on the ground.

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.

Fiona McLagan, Head Teacher at St John's RC High School, said: “It was great to have the Digital Scotland team visit our school this week, it was a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to see the amount of hard engineering work that’s involved in connecting up communities to fibre broadband. It also showed our pupils how beneficial it would be when it comes to their school work and various other aspects of their home life.”

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 Dundee.

“I would like to thank the three high schools for having us this week and I hope that the pupils visiting the Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase found it an enjoyable experience finding out what fibre broadband can provide and how it’s delivered.”

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

Robert Thorburn, BT Scotland’s Fibre Broadband Director, added: “We hope pupils had fun finding out how high-speed technology powers the internet – and who knows, maybe we even inspired a few engineers of the future.

“We’re working hard to get superfast services to as many local households as possible. Thanks to the Digital Scotland rollout, thousands more city premises can now connect to their best ever broadband speeds when they sign up with a service provide.

“Alongside commercial providers’ coverage, this has helped Dundee to have among the highest levels of superfast broadband in Scotland.”

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 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 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