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Bishopton Pupils Get A Lesson With Fibre Broadband

Friday, 06 November 2015

Pupils at Bishopton Primary school had a lesson with a difference when the Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase visited them this week.

Around 350 households and businesses in the Renfrewshire village can now access fibre services thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

Fibre broadband enables multiple users in a home or business to connect to the internet, download and share large files at the same time more quickly than ever before. In order to take advantage of the higher speeds now available, residents should contact their service provider.

The Bishopton premises join over 11,300 homes and businesses in Renfrewshire which are able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout – with more local coverage to follow.

Other areas in Renfrewshire that are live thanks to the programme include Inchinnan, Lochwinnoch, Kilbarchan and Linwood, with additional coverage in Paisley and Renfrew building on BT’s commercial rollout there.

The latest premises are among more than 455,000 across Scotland which can now access fibre broadband services at speeds of up to 80Mbps* as part of the £410 million Digital Scotland rollout.

The Digital Scotland rollout is being delivered on the ground by engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach. With more than 2,000 new cabinets now installed across Scotland to house the fibre connections, the project underpins the Scottish Government’s aim of delivering world class connectivity by 2020.

More than 110 pupils from the primary school were able to climb aboard the new Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase, a specially-adapted vehicle which features all of the equipment used in the roll-out of fibre broadband.

The unique vehicle includes equipment which is familiar to members of the public - like the new green street cabinets - as well as some of the things they don’t often see, such as how fibre-optic cables are ‘blown’ underground, as part of the deployment. Representatives from Digital Scotland discussed the huge benefits which fibre broadband can provide and how it can help them in their future.

Wendy McNaught, principal teacher at Bishopton Primary School, said: “Having the Digital Scotland team visit the school was a great opportunity for the pupils to learn about the benefits of fibre broadband. It was also interesting to see the huge amount of planning and work that has to be done on the ground when installing a fibre connection to an area. 

“The school children were excited to hear about how having fibre broadband would help them with their homework and how it will benefit them in the future.”

Councillor Mike Holmes, depute leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: ““It's good to see this project reaching more communities and giving an increasing number of homes and businesses the opportunity to connect to high-speed broadband. We are determined to make sure everyone in Renfrewshire has access to digital services and the skills and confidence to go online and use them, even from a young age. 

“With plans to increase public wi-fi availability and make our libraries and learning centres ‘digital hubs’ with free internet access, and a new online customer portal coming next year, our digital offering at the council is improving all the time and it's welcome news that high speed broadband will make it more accessible."

Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “With homes and businesses in Bishopton being able to connect fibre broadband, residents will see a positive boost in what they can achieve online, once signing up with a service provider.

“I also hope that the children at Bishopton Primary School enjoyed the tour of our fibre showcase and hearing about the roll-out of fibre broadband. A fibre service is a huge boost to anyone in education and will certainly bring any subject to life”  

BT is investing £126 million in the Digital Scotland programme, in addition to its commercial rollout of fibre broadband in Scotland. 

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland Director, said: “Hundreds of people in Bishopton now have access to their best ever broadband speeds thanks to the Digital Scotland project.  It’s great that local pupils were able to help us celebrate its arrival and get an insight into how high-speed technology powers the internet. It’s also a chance for us to show a very positive side to a career in engineering.”

Local people can check the interactive map on the Digital Scotland website (/whereandwhen) to find out if they can get the service and further information is also available on Twitter @ScotSuperfast or Facebook at