More than 2,100 homes and businesses in Duns are now able to connect to high-speed fibre broadband thanks to the £428M Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.
The Digital Scotland team celebrated fibre availability in the Scottish Borders town as they visited a fibre street cabinet that will serve part of the local area. They were joined by senior pupils from Duns Primary School and Councillor Mark Rowley, 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 Digital Scotland rollout.
Other areas in the Scottish Borders to benefit from the Digital Scotland rollout, led by the Scottish Government, now include Ancrum, Norham, Skirling, Kirkton Manor, St Boswells and West Linton, as well as additional recent coverage in places like Kelso, Peebles, Galashiels, Jedburgh and Hawick. 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 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.
Leanne Stewart, Head Teacher at Duns Primary School, said: “It was fantastic see our pupils involved in helping launch the latest fibre broadband in the town. It was a great opportunity for our 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 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 Duns.
“I would like to thank the pupils from Duns Primary School and Councillor Mark Rowley for joining us to unveil the latest fibre street cabinet and I am glad to see that it has been able to benefit the local community.”
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 when they sign up with a service provider. 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.”
*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.
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
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.