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​West Lothian pupils get a lesson with fibre broadband

Press Release   •   Nov 11, 2016 12:00 GMT

Openreach project co-ordinator Billy Whitelaw with pupils from St John the Baptist Primary School.

Pupils from three West Lothian primary schools were all superfast in finding out the benefits of fibre broadband when the Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase paid them a visit this week.

More than 10,000 households and businesses in West Lothian can now access high-speed fibre services thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

Pupils from the three schools – St John the Baptist RC in Fauldhouse, and Addiewell and St Thomas’s primaries in Addiewell – climbed aboard the Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase, a unique vehicle which features equipment used in the roll-out of fibre broadband.

Hundreds of premises in Fauldhouse and Addiewell are now able to access the new high-speed services. Local people need to sign up through an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.

The local premises are among more than 660,000 homes and businesses across Scotland which are now able to access fibre broadband through the £410 million Digital Scotland rollout.

Other local areas to benefit from the programme include Breich, Linlithgow Bridge, Blackridge, Uphall, Wilkieston and East Mains Industrial Estate in Broxburn. 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.

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 great news that many residents and businesses in West Lothian are now able to receive fibre broadband thanks to the programme, with more local coverage to follow.

“I also hope that all the children at the school enjoyed visiting our Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase and found it insightful in finding out what fibre broadband can provide and how it’s delivered.”

Liz Mallinson, BT Scotland’s Fibre Broadband Director, added: “Coupled with our commercial upgrades, nearly 60,000 premises in West Lothian 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.

“We’d like to thank the school for having us – it’s great that local pupils were able to get an insight into how high-speed technology powers the internet and learn about a very positive side to a career in engineering.”

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 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.

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