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Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband reaches more of Angus

Tuesday 15th May 2018


More premises across Angus can now upgrade to faster fibre broadband through the £428 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband rollout.

Thanks to the programme, more than 890,000 premises are able to connect to the new network, which has now arrived in places like Hillside, Longleys and Drumkilbo. Each week the programme, one of the largest broadband infrastructure projects in Europe, reaches more remote and rural areas.

Across the country nearly 4,500 new fibre street cabinets are now live and more than 11,000km of cable has been laid by engineers from Openreach, Scotland’s digital network business. Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable broadband connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps1 and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from.

Local people need to sign up for the new, faster services with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic. To help promote the fact that fibre is widely available across Angus the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband team were out in Birkhill and Muirhead this week. They were joined by pupils from Birkhill Primary School and Kirsty Macari (Angus Council’s economic development officer) to celebrate.

Delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland – 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.

Thanks to additional investment as a result of innovation and new funding generated by stronger than expected take-up, the programme will deliver new DSSB deployment in every local authority area during 2018 and beyond, complementing ongoing commercial build across Scotland.

As part of the local rollout in Angus some ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology is being deployed. FTTP sees fibre connected directly from the exchange to the premise and is capable of carrying speeds of up to 1Gbps2. FTTP is being deployed by the programme in only a handful of areas where it is the best technical solution for the area.

Angus Council’s economic development officer Kirsty Macari said: “Angus Council is pleased to see the continued roll-out of fibre connectivity across the area.  We want everyone in our area to have ready access to digital services, as well as the skills and confidence to use them and the DSSB programme has supported connectivity across the vast majority of urban and rural Angus.

“We continue to add value to this with work involving our local schools and businesses and ensure that we communicate all opportunities to the people of Angus.”

Natasha Hutchison, Head Teacher at Birkhill primary school, said: “It was fantastic to see our pupils involved in helping celebrate fibre broadband in the village. It was a great opportunity for them to see the amount of hard engineering work that’s involved in connecting up communities.”

Robert Thorburn, Fibre Broadband Director for Openreach in Scotland, said: “As the rollout nears its end stages, we’re really digging in to some harder-to-reach communities and places where the engineering challenges are more significant.

“Many of these latest lines have been converted from a format once thought incompatible with high-speed fibre broadband, and we’re increasingly using ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) to deliver the network directly into individual dwellings, with some properties in places like Gowanbank among those to benefit.

“Finally, we are still bringing fibre to some small communities for the first time, such as Drumkilbo, Longleys and Druntrune.

“It’s really a privilege for all of us at Openreach to be able to play such an important part in the life of communities the length and breadth of Scotland. We know there’s always more to do and we are up for the challenge.”

1 and 2 These are the top wholesale speeds available over the Openreach networks to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

2 FTTP is capable of delivering the fastest residential broadband speeds in the UK – up to 1Gbps. That’s around 24 times the UK average speed of 44Mbps (according to Ofcom) and enough to stream 200 HD Netflix movies simultaneously, based on Netflix internet connection speed requirements.