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Fibre broadband holds ‘huge potential’ for Scottish towns

Wednesday, May 13th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

The arrival of superfast broadband in two small Scottish towns will bring new jobs to the area, according to a local councillor.

BT’s rollout of fibre broadband has reached Bonnybridge and Denny, near Falkirk, making the network accessible to more than 6,800 homes and businesses.

That number will rise to around 8,500 when the upgrade is completed by Openreach, the part of BT that looks after most of Britain’s broadband infrastructure.

BT’s investment has been welcomed by the leader of Falkirk Council Craig Martin, who described it as great news for the towns.

Councillor Martin said: “Super-fast fibre broadband in Bonnybridge and Denny 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.

“The arrival of fibre broadband means local people and firms can do more online at faster speeds and on multiple devices.

“This is great news for many people in Denny and Bonnybridge and I look forward to fibre broadband being rolled out across the rest of the Falkirk area.”

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, added: “The arrival of fibre broadband in Bonnybridge and Denny is another important step in our roll-out of this exciting technology.”

'Big decisions'

He said more than 22m homes and businesses across the UK have access to fibre using Openreach’s network – including 37,000 premises in the Falkirk area.

“This figure will rise to 48,000 as BT continues to deploy its commercial roll-out,” said Mr Dick.

“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.”

Fibre broadband also has “huge potential” for public services and businesses, he said.

“Reliable, high speed connections help small businesses with everything from day-to-day activities like downloading software, videoconferencing and moving large data files around to big decisions like recruiting or introducing new IT services.”

Openreach’s fibre network is now available to around three-quarters of UK premises from a number of service providers.

In total, BT is spending more than £3 billion on the deployment of fibre broadband, including £2.5 billion on its commercial fibre footprint and major investments in rural fibre broadband projects.

In Scotland, BT is investing around £126m in fibre broadband partnerships with the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Broadband Delivery UK), the European Regional Development Fund and Scotland’s local authorities.

Alongside commercial upgrades by the private sector, these Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband projects will see 85% of Scottish premises passed by fibre by March 2016 and around 95% by March 2018.

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