Bestselling ‘Tartan Noir’ crime writer – James Oswald – took time out of his book tour this week to welcome the arrival of fibre broadband to Newburgh, Fife.
More than 1,300 households and businesses in Newburgh can now access high-speed fibre services thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme. Local people need to sign up for the new service with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.
The highly acclaimed Newburgh-based crime writer was joined by Councillor Andy Heer and members of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband team to unveil one of the new street cabinets that will serve the town.
James is currently touring Scotland with his latest work – The Damage Done - the gripping sixth instalment of the celebrated Inspector Tony McLean series.
To welcome the release of The Damage Done, Digital Scotland is offering two lucky winners the chance to receive a signed copy. For more information on how to enter, visit the Digital Scotland Facebook and Twitter pages at https://www.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast?fref=ts and @ScotSuperfast.
The premises in Newburgh are among nearly 40,000 in Fife which are now able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout. Other areas now live thanks to the programme include Auchtermuchty, Ballingry, Cardenden, Newport-on-Tay, Kelty and Lochore. More coverage will follow as engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, 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.
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.
The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme – in partnership with the Scottish Government and BT – will deliver access to fibre broadband to around 95% of premises by the end of March 2018, when combined with existing commercial roll-out plans. The £410 million programme underpins the Scottish Government’s aim for Scotland to become a world class digital nation by 2020.
Delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in their area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland – the partnership currently reaches more than 550,000 premises across the country, with the rollout continuing at pace.
Other funding partners include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund. BT has invested £126 million in the two projects, in addition to its commercial rollout.
Fife Council has contributed £2.8 million to the Digital Scotland rollout in addition to block funding from all the Scottish local authorities.
James’ Inspector McLean series has made him one of Scotland’s leading crime writers, with over half a million copies sold in the UK. Edinburgh-based Inspector McLean can see beneath the surface of ordinary criminal life to the dark, menacing evil that lurks beneath the city’s dark underbelly.
The Damage Done sees Inspector McLean haunted by the resurfacing of a particularly gruesome cold case from twenty years ago, coincidentally his first case with the force – something he thought was long buried.
Alongside James’ previous Inspector McLean instalments - Natural Causes, The Book of Souls, The Hangman's Song, Dead Men's Bones and Prayer for the Dead - The Damage Done is available from all leading book retailers, as well as eBook and audiobook formats.
To keep up with James’ work, you can visit his website http://jamesoswald.co.uk/ or follow him on Twitter @SirBenfro.
James Oswald said: “It was a pleasure that I was able to help welcome the arrival of fibre broadband to the area. It will bring a huge boost for everyone across the town – something which I look forward to seeing.
“One of the exciting aspects of an improved connection is the accessibility of books, journals and articles. Reading is something vital when it comes to learning about our surroundings and expanding our imagination and creativity.
“From a writer’s perspective, faster internet speeds can open up a number of opportunities for anyone who wants to get their work seen by an audience. Whether it’s developing ideas, carrying out research or posting your work on a blog or publishing site – there’s a number of opportunities that can be achieved all from the comfort of your home.”
Councillor for the Howe of Fife and Tay Coast, Andy Heer, added: “I was pleased to join James Oswald and Digital Scotland to announce more fibre broadband in the town. It's good to see this project reaching more communities and giving an increasing number of homes and businesses the opportunity to connect to high-speed broadband. We know how important access to high-speed internet technology is to both residents and businesses – which is why Fife Council chose to invest £2.8 million into the programme’s rollout.”
A number of the homes and businesses in the Newburgh area were previously served by ‘Exchange Only’ lines. These were once thought to be out of reach of fibre technology as they run directly from the exchange to the premises – bypassing the usual road-side cabinets which are integral to the fibre rollout. Engineers have rearranged the existing network, laying new cables to reroute lines through extra road-side cabinets, to overcome this challenge, with more of this work to follow.
Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s great news that many residents and businesses in and around Fife are now able to receive fibre broadband thanks to the programme, with more local coverage to follow.
“The difference that fibre broadband can make is amazing. Once people have signed up with a service provider, it will give much more flexibility whether it’s at work or in the home.
“It was fantastic having the talented James Oswald help us with our celebrations. His work within the Scottish literacy scene makes him an inspirational figure within his field, something which many writers across Scotland can look to. With the opportunities that fibre broadband can provide, I hope that other aspiring writers will be able to benefit when signing up with a service provider.”
Liz Mallinson, BT Scotland’s Fibre Broadband Director, added: “Thousands of Fifers now have the opportunity to access their best ever broadband speeds when they sign up with a service provider. Many local people are already enjoying the benefits and we’d urge others to consider the benefits of a move to a fibre service. 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.”
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
*Our deployment plans are subject to change. The expectations reflected in this plan are reasonable, but because our rollout involves risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ from those expressed or implied.
**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. Further announcements will be made as more areas are able to access the growing fibre infrastructure.
Caption: Crime Writer James Oswald with his latest Inspector McLean instalment – The Damage Done.
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:
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 more than 170 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. Following the acquisition of EE on 29 January 2016, BT consists principally of six customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, EE, BT Wholesale and Openreach.
For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group’s reported revenue was £17,979m with reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.
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.