Homes and businesses in Keith will soon be added to Moray’s growing list of areas to get fibre broadband as part of the £410 million Digital Scotland partnership.
Keith joins Lerwick in Shetland as the latest areas to be announced as part of the Digital Highlands and Islands project which will deliver fibre broadband to 84% of premises across the region by 2016. They will see fibre broadband services offering speeds of up to 80Mbps* roll out in the autumn, as BT engineers deploy the technology.
Keith and Lerwick will both receive high speed technology for the first time. Additional premises in Nairn, Dingwall and Fort William will also be covered, building on BT’s commercial rollout in these areas. Around 6,500 premises are set to benefit across the locations.
Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister, said: “The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership is about rolling out reliable fibre services to our most remote and rural areas. The first live locations in the Highlands and Islands were announced in February and around 10,000 premises can now access fibre broadband as a direct result of the project – many of these are in Moray.
“This is an important step towards ensuring that Scotland has world-class digital connectivity by 2020. Our investment, and that of our partners in the project, will extend access to superfast broadband across Scotland. This will be a key factor in ensuring Scotland’s long-term economic prosperity.”
The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband initiative consists of two projects – one covering the Highlands and Islands area and the other covering the Rest of Scotland.
In total, more than three quarters of a million homes and business premises are expected to benefit from the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband initiative. In the Highlands and Islands, the £146m project is led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and funding partners include the Scottish Government, HIE, and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK). BT, the selected private sector partner who is rolling out the open access fibre network, is investing £19 million in the area.
Stuart Robertson, HIE’s Director of Digital Highlands and Islands, said: “We are delighted to see Keith added to the towns and villages in Moray which already have or are soon to get fibre broadband. Keith is an important economic location for the Moray economy and the introduction of fibre in the area will be a boost to the partners who are working so hard locally to support local businesses and attract new investment.”
Locations are being announced quarterly for the life of the three year project. There is a list of areas where rollout work has started so far at the end of this release. Further local detail will be provided as plans advance and anyone interested in the roll-out can keep up to date and get more detail at www.digitalscotland.org or at www.hie.co.uk/digital
The partnership programme is in addition to BT’s £2.5b UK commercial rollout, which will bring faster fibre broadband within reach of more than 1.4 million Scottish homes and businesses, with more than one million premises already passed.
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland Director, said: “Today marks an important next phase in our deployment, with the first island community now set to connect to fibre broadband several months ahead of schedule. This technological sea change will help island locations such as Lerwick to compete and thrive in the 21st century.
“New locations for fibre will be announced regularly as our engineers carry out detailed local surveys and finalise plans. Delivering a project on this scale is one of the most significant challenges we’ve faced anywhere in the UK in recent years, with our sub-sea cable laying programme set to break records later this year. It’s great to see this major step forward today, which will benefit rural communities on and off the Scottish mainland.”
The new fibre based network will be open to all communications providers on an equivalent basis. Households and businesses will benefit from a highly competitive market, bringing greater choice and affordable prices from a wide range of service providers.
UK Government Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: “This next round of exchange announcements is symbolic of the huge transformation of Broadband that is taking in place in Scotland and across the whole of the UK. The UK Government is investing over £120m in broadband for Scotland and widespread access to superfast speeds will provide a welcome boost to the local economy.”
The full Scottish list of locations being announced today is as follows:
|Local authority area||Exchange||Local authority area||Exhange|
|Aberdeen City||Aberdeen Denburn||Fife||Balmullo|
|Aberdeen City||Aberdeen Kincorth||Fife||Glenrothes Central|
|Aberdeenshire||Ellon||Fife||Newport On Tay|
|Aberdeenshire||Kemnay||Perth and Kinross||Balbeggie|
|Aberdeenshire||Old Meldrum||Perth and Kinross||Blairgowrie|
|Aberdeenshire||Old Rayne||Perth and Kinross||Bridge of Earn|
|Aberdeenshire||Peterhead||Perth and Kinross||Caputh|
|Aberdeenshire||Turriff||Perth and Kinross||Errol|
|Angus||Forfar||Perth and Kinross||Glencarse|
|Angus||Kirriemuir||Perth and Kinross||Inchture|
|Angus||New Bigging||Perth and Kinross||Stanley Tayside|
|Dumfries and Galloway||Cross Michael||Scottish Borders||Earlston|
|Dumfries and Galloway||Dalbeattie||Scottish Borders||Lauder|
|Dumfries and Galloway||Gatehouse of Fleet||Scottish Borders||St Boswells|
|Dumfries and Galloway||Kirkconnel||South Lanarkshire||Carluke|
|Dumfries and Galloway||Kirkcudbright||South Lanarkshire||East Kilbride|
|Dumfries and Galloway||Newbridge||South Lanarkshire||Lanark|
|Dumfries and Galloway||New Galloway||South Lanarkshire||Lesmahagow|
|Dumfries and Galloway||Rockcliffe||Stirling||Callander|
|Dumfries and Galloway||Sanquhar||Stirling||Doune|
|Dumfries and Galloway||Stranraer||Stirling||Kippen|
|Dumfries and Galloway||Thornhill|
Key facts about the rollout in the Highlands and Islands
- High speed fibre broadband will be available to around 84 per cent of homes and businesses across the Highlands and Islands by the end of 2016.
- The public sector investment is investing £126.4m through the Scottish Government broadband fund. That incorporates funding from BDUK and includes up to £12m from HIE’s own budget. BT is investing an additional £19.4 million in the project, on top of its commercial roll-out.
- The project is about creating a vast fibre infrastructure across the Highlands and Islands that offers a legacy for generations to come. The new fibre network will reach the majority of premises in every local authority area.
- The new backbone will install more than 800km of new fibre on land and more than 400km of subsea cables over 20 crossings to our islands.
- Without this £146 million partnership, only 21 per cent of Highlands and Islands premises would have received a commercial fibre broadband service.
- Our aim is to reach the most people possible within the budget available, but we are not just forgetting about the rest.
- Every part of the region is important. The rollout timetable has been designed to build out as quickly as possible from existing infrastructure - currently centred on areas such the Inner Moray Firth, Fort William and Oban where BT has invested in commercial rollout.
- The timetable has taken account of many aspects including existing infrastructure, technical and physical feasibility, and ensuring the people of the Highlands and Islands get best value for the investment.
- Locations to be upgraded will be announced in phases as we progress. The first locations have been announced and further locations will be announced each quarter as the programme rolls out.
- The reason for a phased approach is to ensure that the information we make public is as accurate as possible and we can provide a high degree of certainty.
- BT will deploy widespread fibre to the cabinet, which offers wholesale broadband speeds of up to 80Mbps. Engineers will also lay some Fibre to the Premises, which offers speeds of up to 300Mbps.
- For premises not currently connected through a cabinet but directly to the exchange, known as Exchange Only (E0), modelling is taking place to modify the network - including building new cabinets. Developments will be released as available, but this work will happen in tandem to the cabinet rollout and the first new cabinets are likely to be started before the end of the year.
- We are not going to reach everyone in this first three year phased rollout. In some cases there will be people who can’t be reached even when their local exchange is upgraded. They will not be forgotten, and there are a range of initiatives already started to find solutions for people in hard to reach areas.
- However, the new fibre backbone will reach deep into the Highlands and Islands and will make further expansion possible.
- BT and HIE will be assessing new and emerging technology options through a £2.5 million Innovation Fund, with a view to extending faster broadband to the most remote places.
- The Scottish Government has launched Community Broadband Scotland – a £5 million initiative that is delivering support to rural and remote communities to help them deliver their own broadband solutions. CBS has been designed as a one-stop-shop to provide community groups with advice and information.
- A Start-Up Fund is also available to support delivery of demonstrator projects. These will act as case studies and generate learning, showcasing technical solutions and business models that can be replicated across Scotland.
About Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is an economic and community development agency delivering the Scottish Government’s economic strategy across a region which covers more than half of Scotland.
With around 250 staff, HIE supports hundreds of client businesses and social enterprises; strengthens communities, particularly in fragile areas; develops key sectors, and invests in infrastructure to create a more competitive and low carbon region.
Our priority sectors for growth include Energy, Life Sciences, Food and Drink, Creative Industries, Tourism, Financial and Business Services and Universities.
Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:
- £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017
- £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
- £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services
Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.
For further information: www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach.
For the year ended 31 March 2013, BT Group’s reported revenue was £18,103m with reported profit before taxation of £2,315m.
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
For more information, visit www.btplc.com