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Rural Scottish Hotels Benefit Thanks to Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband

Thursday 23rd August 2018


Hotels and pubs across Scotland are benefiting from upgrades to fibre broadband, transforming customer experience and providing a catalyst for business growth.

More than 900,000 homes and businesses across Scotland are now able to connect to high-speed fibre broadband, thanks to the £428m Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme. More local coverage will follow as engineers from Openreach – Scotland’s digital network business – continue work on the ground.

One of them is the Glen Lui Hotel, situated in the tranquil setting of Ballater in the Cairngorms National Park and owned by Gordon and Susan Bell - has been able to reach out to its customers in fresh and exciting new ways.
Susan says: “We’re really excited that as a result of fibre broadband we’ve been able to create a new website - I was even able to fulfil a long-held dream of including a high definition webcam.

“Since upgrading, we’ve seen incredible results on our new website. There are amazing views from our hotel towards Lochnagar, as well as red squirrels and deer all around, and we can now use our website to share it all through live streaming on a webcam. It has helped immensely with the marketing of our hotel!”

Heading south, The Ship Inn in Elie, Fife, and The Bridge Inn in Ratho, near Edinburgh, - owned by Graham and Rachel Bucknall - have also made the move to fibre broadband.

With visitors ever-increasingly reliant on access to broadband, it’s essential that hotels in Scotland keep up to date with the latest technology.

Graham says: “For running a successful business such as oursand providing world-class facilities to our many visitors from Scotland, the UK or around the world, high-speed broadband is increasingly being seen not as a ‘nice-to-have’ but as an essential.”

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.

Other hoteliers to benefit from fibre broadband are Stef and Jack Kelly-Barton, owners of the Inchture Hotel - only four miles from Dundee. They have been able to enter into an exciting new phase in development, after upgrading their service.

Stef says: “Superfast broadband has proven itself as a catalyst for business growth at our hotel. It is radically improving the customer experience we can provide and that is helping us achieve a significantly higher level of trade. As we exploit the potential of the technology still further in future, I am looking forward to exploring exciting new opportunities and building still further on this success.”

Whether you own a business - like these rural hotels - 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, says: “It’s fantastic news that the programme has been able to benefit many hotels throughout Scotland. As you can see from the stories across Scotland, there are many ways that upgrading to fibre broadband has been able to help with business growth and potential.”

Digital Scotland funding partners include the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, BT Group, the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund
BT Group is investing £126 million in the rollout, and the total project value includes around £18 million which is being reinvested back in to the programme during 2018 as a result of stronger than expected early take-up.
Robert Thorburn, Openreach fibre partnership director for Scotland, said: “Thousands of people and businesses across Scotland now have the opportunity to access their best-ever broadband speeds when they sign up with a service provider.

“Industry regulator Ofcom has highlighted that many could be accessing significantly faster speeds by upgrading. I‘d urge anyone running a business in the tourism sector to check if they’re able to order the high-speed services that are now widely available across Scotland, as we know from these fantastic examples that  faster broadband is proving a major asset.”

Further information is also available on Twitter @ScotSuperfast or Facebook at www.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast

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