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Woodilee broadband campaigners set for superfast boost

Press Release   •   Mar 27, 2017 11:00 BST

Robert Thorburn (L) and campaigner Graeme Brown with local residents in Woodilee.

Superfast broadband is coming to more homes in Woodilee near Kirkintilloch after a successful community campaign for faster speeds.

Residents in 59 local households will be able to order new high-speed fibre broadband services for the first time, thanks to a partnership between the community and BT.

The entire cost of delivering the new technology has been covered by Openreach, BT’s local network division, and the UK Government’s Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme, which supports households and businesses which are not covered by any current fibre broadband rollout plans and experience speeds below 2Mbps.

The new network, which offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps, will cover homes in Woodcroft Drive, Sandmartin Grove and Barony Drive, and is expected to be switched on by the end of this year.

Community campaigner Graeme Brown, of Woodcroft Drive, said: “Slow internet speed has been a hot topic in the growing community of Woodilee for a long time. While some residents’ services have recently been upgraded, almost 60 households were left behind struggling along in the slow lane. It was really frustrating.

“Having explored all the options we decided to talk to Openreach about a Community Fibre Partnership and we’re delighted to put pen to paper to bring much faster speeds to more local homes. Surfing at speeds which will be many times faster than what we’re used to will make a huge difference to many fellow residents.

“Broadband is rightly regarded as the fourth utility and equal access to a fast internet connection is increasingly necessary for local families, home workers and businesses across the community. We’re all delighted to know superfast is on the way.”

Robert Thorburn, BT Scotland’s fibre broadband director, said: “We’ve been aware of the residents’ campaign for better broadband in Woodilee for some time.

“Two fibre cabinets, serving around 350 Woodilee homes, went live last year through our Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership with the public sector. But this still left a gap for the 59 premises that can now look forward to fibre by the end of this year.

“We expect them to achieve download speeds at the higher end of the spectrum because their new fibre street cabinet will be so close to the properties.

“Our ambition is to ‘never say no’ to any community that wants superfast broadband, and we’re really pleased we found a way forward in Woodilee which testifies to that. We’re keen to have conversations with other communities who might benefit from this approach.”

Kim Mears, Openreach’s managing director for infrastructure delivery, added: “Partnerships like this help us to bring high-speed connections to challenging areas that broadband providers struggle to upgrade alone.

“More than 92 per cent of Scotland can access fibre broadband today, and we’re committed to making it as widely available as possible. That’s why we’re working in partnership with hundreds of UK communities on projects similar to this one in Woodilee.”

To find out if your community could benefit from the scheme register here.


About Openreach

Openreach is the UK’s leading digital infrastructure provider.

Its 32,000 employees are responsible for building and maintaining millions of miles of fibre and copper cables that connect every home and business in the UK to local telephone exchanges. Openreach operates and maintains this network to deliver a range of wholesale services for more than 560 retail providers, who in-turn provide telephony, broadband, TV and data services to more than 30 million consumer and business customers throughout the country.

Openreach is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of its revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom. Any company can access its products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.

Over the last decade, Openreach has invested more than £10bn into its network and is currently building the UK’s largest fibre broadband footprint. This technology is available to more than 26 million homes and businesses, with tens of thousands more gaining access each week.

Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group. For the year ended 31 March 2016, it reported revenues of £5.1bn.

For more information, visit openreach.co.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: Global Services, Business and Public Sector, Consumer, EE, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 20161, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,012m with reported profit before taxation of £2,907m.

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.

1The results for the period have been revised to reflect the outcome of the investigation into our Italian business. Detail of which is set out in our third quarter results announcement published on 27 January 2017. This financial information is unaudited.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com

About Openreach

Openreach is the UK’s leading digital infrastructure provider.

Its 32,000 employees are responsible for building and maintaining millions of miles of fibre and copper cables that connect every home and business in the UK to local telephone exchanges. Openreach operates and maintains this network to deliver a range of wholesale services for more than 560 retail providers, who in-turn provide telephony, broadband, TV and data services to more than 30 million consumer and business customers throughout the country.

Openreach is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of its revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom. Any company can access its products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.

Over the last decade, Openreach has invested more than £10bn into its network and is currently building the UK’s largest fibre broadband footprint. This technology is available to more than 26 million homes and businesses, with tens of thousands more gaining access each week.

Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group. For the year ended 31 March 2016, it reported revenues of £5.1bn.

For more information, visit openreach.co.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: Global Services, Business and Public Sector, Consumer, EE, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 20161, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,012m with reported profit before taxation of £2,907m.

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.

1The results for the period have been revised to reflect the outcome of the investigation into our Italian business. Detail of which is set out in our third quarter results announcement published on 27 January 2017. This financial information is unaudited.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com