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Novellist Estelle Maskame welcomes fibre broadband to Peterhead

Monday, August 3rd 2015 by Ellen Branagh

An extra 1,000 homes and businesses on the easternmost point of mainland Scotland can connect to fibre broadband now as part of the country’s superfast rollout programme.

The homes and businesses in Peterhead join 8,000 premises in the fishing town that are already connected to fibre as part of BT’s commercial rollout.

More than 365,000 premises across Scotland can now access superfast speeds of up to 80Mbps as part of the £410m Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programe.

The unveiling of one of the new street cabinets in Peterhead was attended by members of the Digital Scotland programme, representatives from Aberdeenshire council, and novelist and blogger Estelle Maskame, who grew up in the town.

The 18-year-old became a global sensation after she started posting her writing online and has just released her debut romance novel, 'Did I Mention I Love You?’.

She said: “I started using the digital platform Wattpad to post weekly instalments of my work from the age of 13.

“The accessibility of that, along with my Twitter, has always kept me motivated. To be in the position that I’m now in – since I knew people were reading my work and enjoying it – is spellbinding. I wouldn’t be where I am without my readers.

“There’s an array of opportunities to be had when you’re connected to the internet. Fibre broadband is something which can open even more doors for you and it was a pleasure to welcome it in my hometown.”

'Reaching more communities'

Estelle was joined at the cabinet unveiling by Councillor Stuart Pratt, chairman of Aberdeenshire council’s Buchan area committee, and vice chair Councillor Anne Allan.

Aberdeenshire Council has contributed £16m to the Digital Scotland rollout in addition to block funding from all the Scottish local authorities.

Cllr Pratt said: “It’s really exciting to hear that so many residences in and around Peterhead are already able to connect to fibre broadband.

“It’s good to see this project reaching more communities in our area, contributing towards the aim of connecting most of our homes and businesses to fibre broadband.

“We know how important access to high-speed internet technology is to both residents and businesses – which is why Aberdeenshire Council chose to invest £16m into the programme’s rollout.”

Sara Budge, programme director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, added: “It’s great news that many residents and businesses in and around Peterhead are now able to receive fibre broadband thanks to the programme, with more local coverage to follow.

“The difference that fibre broadband can make is amazing, giving much more flexibility whether it’s at work or in the home. It makes it all the more satisfying that we had such a talented individual to join in with our celebrations.”

As well as BT’s commercial rollout of fibre broadband in Scotland, the company is investing £126m in the Digital Scotland programme.

BT Scotland director Brendan Dick said: “Thousands of people in Peterhead now have access to their best ever broadband speeds, and more will follow.

“This Digital Scotland coverage builds on BT’s commercial rollout which covers 8,000 more local homes and businesses, with more than 1.7m Scottish premises now able to access fibre broadband nationwide overall.

“As the fibre network continues to reach across Aberdeenshire, making the most of it is vital.

“Estelle’s success story is a real inspiration and I hope local people and businesses will soon be taking advantage of all the opportunities on offer.”

Cable.co.uk recently reported that the superfast rollout would bring fibre access to 2,000 premises in fellow Aberdeenshire town Fraserburgh, as well as the extra 1,000 in Peterhead.

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