More than 40,000 households and businesses across Dumfries and Galloway now have access to their fastest-ever broadband speeds – thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband rollout.
More local communities are now set to follow, with nearly 2,000 additional Dumfries and Galloway premises next in line for a fibre boost, thanks to the £410m Digital Scotland partnership, led by the Scottish Government. Other funding partners include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund. BT is investing £126 million in the two projects, on top of its commercial rollout.
Whether you own a business, work from home, research homework or keep in touch with friends and family, fibre broadband enables multiple users to connect to the internet and get better access to online services and faster uploads and downloads. Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable broadband connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps* and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from.
To help explain the benefits this will have for the area, pupils from Langholm Primary School got a classroom with a difference when the Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase paid them a visit this week.
The Digital Scotland team visited pupils from Langholm Primary on 16th February. During the visit, pupils were able to climb aboard the Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase, a unique vehicle which features all of the equipment used in the roll-out of fibre broadband.
It includes kit which is now becoming 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.
Head Teacher for Langholm and Canonbie Primary School, Lindsay Brown, said: “It was a pleasure to have the Digital Scotland team visit the school. It was a great opportunity for the children to see what benefits a fibre connection can provide, as well as the amount of work that happens when engineers install fibre broadband in an area.
The children were excited by the possibilities that superfast broadband may offer and discussed how this might be of benefit to their school work in order to bring out their full potential.”
Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “Many residents and businesses are now able to sign up for fibre broadband thanks to our programme, with more local coverage just around the corner. I also hope that all the children at the school enjoyed visiting our Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase and found it insightful in finding out what fibre broadband can provide and how it’s delivered
“You can find out all about the rollout and the status of the street cabinet you’re connected to, and sign up to be kept in the loop for progress reports, at www.scotlandsuperfast.com.”
New street cabinets to deliver high-speed services in Creetown, Canonbie, Dalry, Langholm and Stranraer are among the latest to go live. To benefit from the faster connection speeds, residents need to sign up for a fibre service with their chosen provider, as upgrades aren’t automatic.
Meanwhile, engineers expect the first fibre connections to be available in smaller villages and communities such as Ardwell, Auchencairn, Bankshill, Cummertrees, Dundrennan, Haugh of Urr, Kippford, Kirkpatrick Durham, Kirkgunzeon, Kirkbean and Ringford, hopefully by this summer, as Openreach, BT’s local network business, continues work on the ground.
Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Councillor Ronnie Nicholson said: “I am pleased that more of our smaller communities are in line for a superfast boost. I’m determined that everyone in Dumfries and Galloway will have access to digital services as well as the skills and confidence to go online and use them. There is still a lot of work to be done but this update shows progress is being made.”
Liz Mallinson, BT Scotland’s Fibre Broadband Director, added: “We’re excited to be bringing fibre technology to more rural parts of Dumfries and Galloway, especially as it involves overcoming a major technical challenge in the shape of our historic EO lines.
“We’re also urging local people to check if they’re among the thousands who can already get high speed services. There’s lots of competition in the broadband market, and people may be pleasantly surprised to discover they could be surfing at much higher speeds at a similar cost to their current service – Once you’ve tried superfast broadband, you’ll never look back.”
Dumfries and Galloway Residents can check the interactive map on the Digital Scotland website (http://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/where-when/) to find out if they can get the service and further information is also available on Twitter @ScotSuperfast or Facebook at www.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast