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Aberfeldy Cinema gets a ‘reel’ digital boost

Friday 28th June 2019


A restored 1930s cinema has seen its internet connection rocket to a superfast speed thanks to the £442m Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme.

This week, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson paid a visit to ‘The Birks’ cinema in Aberfeldy. In recent years the art deco building has been transformed by the community – now, thanks to a Digital Scotland upgrade, it can show the latest blockbusters with ease.

Access to its high-speed fibre broadband service at nearly 80Mbps means the cinema can download the latest films securely and quickly – which was impossible on its old connection.

Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, said: “Fast and reliable internet access is absolutely vital to communities across Scotland.

“That is why it is fantastic to visit The Birks Cinema today to see first-hand how this Government’s approach to digital connectivity is making such a difference to the day-to-day running of this community led business.

“Reliable fibre broadband helps businesses and communities stay connected and helps families learn, work, play and shop.

“We want all businesses and households to benefit from access to superfast broadband. Our Reaching 100% programme, currently in procurement, backed by a £600 million investment, plans to deliver superfast broadband access to every home and business in Scotland.”

Across Scotland, the Digital Scotland fibre build has now reached more than 930,000 premises, with service arriving in a dozen communities for the first time, including Kinloch Rannoch in Perth and Kinross, Auchleuchries in Aberdeenshire and Chapelknowe in Dumfries and Galloway. Engineers from digital network business Openreach are continuing work on the ground during 2019/20.

Simon Lewis, General Manager of The Birks said: “Our restored 1930’s cinema has seen its internet connection rocket to superfast speed thanks to access to a high-speed fibre broadband service. At speeds of nearly 80Mbps, the Birks Cinema can receive the latest films securely and quickly.

"We use our fibre connection for delivery of movies as large as 320GB securely and rapidly, our team has seen our workload streamlined, as well as our carbon footprint reduced. We can be sure that movies are available when they are programmed. Our café customers also benefit from easy digital connectivity through our free Wi-Fi provision.”

Delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in the north of Scotland and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland – DSSB funding partners also include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), BT Group, local authorities and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund. Digital Scotland private sector partner BT Group has contributed £146 million, with engineers from Openreach building the network on the ground.

Brendan Dick, chair of the Openreach Board in Scotland, said: “The everyday benefits experienced by The Birks Cinema sum up what better broadband is all about. It just works, making life simpler and better for cinema staff and their customers alike.

“With nearly 94 per cent of Scotland now able to connect to superfast broadband at 30Mbps or more, our reliable and extensive digital connectivity is vital to our economic prospects as we navigate an uncertain world.

“Our engineers are working hard day in and day out to bring better broadband to people, businesses and communities across Scotland so that they can thrive.”

Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable broadband connections at a range of speeds and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from. Local people can check if fibre services are available to them at www.scotlandsuperfast.com/yourstreet.