Alison Thewliss MP urges constituents to connect with Digital Scotland
Friday, 16 September 2016
Friday, 16 September 2016
Alison Thewliss MP is getting behind the roll-out of high-speed broadband in her Glasgow Central constituency – where more fibre has recently gone live thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.
Thousands of households and businesses in the Glasgow Central area can now access high-speed fibre services through the £410 million Digital Scotland roll-out, with around 175 more premises in the Hutcheson Town area and 65 near the City Halls among the latest to be reached.
According to the independent Think Broadband website, the availability of fibre broadband in the constituency has grown by more than 10 per cent since February 2015, with nearly 91 per cent of local premises now able to access speeds of 30Mbps or above.
Across Scotland, more than 640,000 premises are now able to connect to fibre-based services through the Digital Scotland project, led by the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise in their area and delivered on the ground by Openreach, BT’s local network business.
Other partners in the project include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Glasgow City Council and the European Regional Development Fund.
Alison Thewliss MP urged local people to consider the benefits of a high-speed fibre broadband connection, which can be ordered through their chosen service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.
She visited a local fibre cabinet on Queen Square to explore the engineering behind the technology and hosted a digital drop-in session near her local office to help constituents find out more.
She said: “Fibre broadband has an essential role to play in everyone’s lives – whether at home or in business. It’s great news that thousands of local people across Glasgow Central can now connect to this exciting technology if they choose.
“I know from my inbox and postbag that broadband speed is a hot topic for many of my constituents, and it’s encouraging to see more progress being made.
“The arrival of fibre broadband means more local people and firms can do more online at faster speeds and on multiple devices and there’s lots of evidence to show it boosts the local economy.
“I look forward to more fibre broadband being rolled out across the rest of the city.”
The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme will deliver access to fibre broadband to around 95% of premises by the end of March 2018, when combined with existing commercial roll-out plans. It underpins the Scottish Government’s aim for Scotland to become a world class digital nation by 2020.
BT is investing £126m in the partnership on top of its commercial investments in Scotland.
Mark Dames, BT Scotland’s head of policy and public affairs, said: “Across the Openreach network, more than two million Scottish premises can now connect to high-speed fibre broadband and, on average, about one in four households have made the move to the faster speeds now available.
“Driving strong take-up is especially important in areas covered by the Digital Scotland programme, as high adoption rates will trigger the release of further funds for investment into the network. We very much welcome Alison Thewliss MP’s efforts to highlight the many benefits this technology offers to her constituents.
“As the UK is one of the most competitive broadband markets in the world, with dozens of providers offering services, people may be pleasantly surprised when they look into the costs of an upgrade.”
Sara Budge, Director of Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “More and more areas of Glasgow Central are now live thanks to the programme. It’s important that people realise that in order to take advantage of the benefits that fibre brings, you need to sign up with a service provider.
“Whatever you’re doing online, you can do it better and faster with fibre. Whether it’s shopping, downloading music and video, watching TV, social networking, studying or researching homework, once you’ve switched to fibre you’ll never look back.”
Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps* and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from.
Further information about the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband roll-out in Glasgow can be found at http://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/glasgow and more details on BT’s commercial roll-out are at www.superfast-openreach.co.uk
*These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.