Upgrade hailed by Alex Fergusson MSP and Russell Brown MP as nearly 4,500 local homes and businesses set to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out
Super-fast broadband has arrived in Stranraer, BT announced today.
More than 700 homes and businesses in the Dumfries & Galloway town now have access to the high-speed technology – and this figure will increase to nearly 4,500 as Openreach engineers complete the local upgrade in the weeks ahead.
Today, the BT investment was welcomed by Alex Fergusson MSP and Russell Brown MP, who described it as great news for the town.
Russell Brown, MP for Dumfries and Galloway, said: “Super-fast fibre broadband in Stranraer offers huge benefits to local residents and businesses and will help our local economy to flourish. Better, faster communications help businesses to grow and stimulate job creation.”
Alex Fergusson, MSP for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale, said: “The arrival of fibre broadband means local people and firms can do more online at faster speeds and on multiple devices. This is a good day for Stranraer – and I look forward to fibre broadband being rolled out across the rest of my constituency.
“One of the real problems for existing and new businesses in this part of Scotland has been the lack of access to superfast broadband, and I have no doubt that this investment by BT will have a hugely beneficial impact on the local economy.”
Fibre broadband is already available to around 12,900 homes and businesses in Dumfries. By the end of BT’s commercial deployment, more than 20,000 homes and businesses in Dumfries and Stranraer will be able to benefit.
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “More than 2.4 million homes and businesses across the UK are already using Openreach’s new fibre network via a range of retailers, bringing speed and choice to the UK. Many Stranraer residents will now have the opportunity to join them.
“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.
“Outside the home, it also has huge potential for public services and local firms. Businesses tell us it’s helping them in a wealth of ways, from day to day activities like downloading software, collaborating with clients and moving large data files around to big business decisions like expanding the workforce or introducing better quality IT services at less cost.”
BT’s fibre footprint currently passes more than 18 million UK homes and businesses. It’s due to pass around two-thirds of UK premises by the end of Spring 2014, at least 18 months ahead of the original timetable.
In total, BT is spending more than £3 billion on deploying fibre broadband, including £2.5 billion on its commercial fibre footprint and further funds in rural fibre broadband projects.
In Scotland, BT is investing around £126 million in fibre broadband partnerships with the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Broadband Delivery UK), European Regional Development Fund and local authorities.
Alongside commercial upgrades, these Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband projects will see 85 per cent of Scottish premises passed by fibre broadband by the end of 2015 and around 95 per cent by the end of 2017. These include more than 3,100 premises in Amisfield and Castle Douglas, which will receive high speed technology for the first time, while more than 460 additional premises will be connected in Dumfries as a result of building upon its existing fibre broadband.
Openreach, BT’s local network business, is primarily deploying fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, where the fibre runs from the exchange to a local roadside cabinet. FTTC delivers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps1 — and could deliver even faster speeds in the future.
Openreach has also started to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, where the fibre runs all the way to the home or business, commercially available on demand2 in certain areas and plans to further expand access. FTTP-on-demand offers the top current download speed of 330Mbps.1
Fibre broadband at home means everyone in the family can do their own thing online, all at the same time, whether it’s downloading music in minutes or watching catch-up TV; streaming HD or 3D movies in a few minutes; or posting photos and videos to social networking sites in seconds. Fibre improves the quality of online experiences and supports new developments in internet services.
Benefits for businesses include faster file and data transfers, better access to cloud computing services and software, more sophisticated web-based contact with customers and support for more flexible working.
Unlike other companies, Openreach offers fibre broadband access to all service providers on an open, wholesale basis, which underpins a competitive market and delivers real customer choice. For further information on Openreach’s fibre broadband programme visitwww.superfast-openreach.co.uk
Notes to editors
1 These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
2 Openreach will levy an installation charge for FTTP on demand. It will be up to service providers to decide whether they pass that on to businesses or consumers wishing to use the product.
Due to the current network topography, and the economics of deployment, it is likely that some premises within selected exchange areas will not initially be able to access fibre-based broadband. Openreach is considering alternative solutions for these locations, which may also benefit from the local partnership activity outlined above.