News and Case Studies

Read news and articles on the progress of the superfast broadband rollout in Scotland and more.

Ultrafast broadband is just the tonic for distillery

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

An award-winning rural distillery is now one of the best-connected places in Scotland, opening up a wealth of online opportunities to the family firm.

Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, today (Wednesday) visited Bardowie Gin near Milngavie, Glasgow.

Thanks to the £463 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme, the family-run distillery now benefits from gigabit-capable broadband1 using FTTP (Fibre-to-the- Premises or full fibre) technology.

Michael Matheson said: “It’s fantastic to see a rural business benefitting from having had FTTP deployed thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, particularly in such a beautiful location.

"The programme has not only delivered on time and on budget, but has exceeded its original aim of connecting 95% of Scotland to fibre broadband – deployment continues into 2020.

“The Scottish Government’s investment of £600 million in the Reaching 100% programme will deliver a national fibre network that will make rural Scotland one of the best-connected places anywhere in Europe.”

Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable connections at a range of speeds1 using Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) or Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology.

Across Scotland, of the 944,000 homes and businesses now reached by the DSSB programme, more than 60 per cent have signed up and are now benefiting from the faster broadband speeds available.

In the final stages of the DSSB project, engineers from Openreach are focusing on full fibre builds to get to harder-to-reach homes and businesses.

Bardowie Gin is distilled on the shores of Bardowie Loch near Milngavie, supplying a range of high-end restaurants and shops. Its products are also available to buy online.

Distillery owner Mark Hazell said: “Before I upgraded to FTTP, my broadband speed at the property was below 1Mbps. Most things were impossible.

“Naturally distilling is one of the most important parts of my job, but another essential part of my business is filling in the necessary warrants, so that I can sell the produce. This is done on HMRC’s website and without the forms being filled in and returned, I can’t sell the gin!

“Before having FTTP installed, downloading a form would take forever and the web page would actually time out on the website – eventually I’d have to start again. Now, thanks to having FTTP, these things take only a few minutes.”

The DSSB programme is 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 Building Digital UK (BDUK), BT Group, local authorities and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund, with Openreach leading the build on the ground.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach Partnership Director for Scotland, said: “Scotland is on a journey to full fibre technology. Eventually, it will replace the copper network which has kept us connected for the last century. In these final stages of the DSSB programme, our engineers are focused on building full fibre networks for harder-to-reach communities.

“This fantastic, family-owned distillery shows how reliable, ultrafast connectivity can help businesses to thrive in rural locations, providing a valuable economic boost to the local economy. Mark and Alison have seen a massive uplift in their broadband capacity which lets them upload and download large files instantaneously and enables service and marketing improvements.

“They’re now future-proofed for the foreseeable future - here’s to their continued success!”