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Scottish fibre broadband rollout spreads through the Cairngorms and Renfrewshire

Friday, October 9th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

Scotland’s superfast rollout has announced the latest areas that will benefit from fibre broadband.

More than 1,000 homes and businesses in the Aberdeenshire and Cairngorms National Park town of Ballater, along with 1,200 in the Renfrewshire villages of Kilbarchan and Howwood, now have access to the service.

A total of more than 438,000 premises across Scotland can now access fibre broadband as part of the £410mn Digital Scotland rollout.

The properties in Ballater join more than 55,000 homes and businesses in Aberdeenshire that can access fibre.

The arrival of fibre broadband in the town coincides with the recent announcement of the first areas in the Cairngorms National Park being able to connect to fibre.

The village of Kincraig and the first parts of Aviemore joined homes and businesses in surrounding areas in Aberdeenshire including Aboyne, Tarland and Lumphanan.

The premises in the Ballater area reached by the Digital Scotland rollout were previously served by ‘Exchange Only’ lines which run directly from the exchange to the premises – bypassing the usual roadside cabinets.

Malcolm MacIntyre, from Braemar Mountain Rescue, which helped with an event to mark the arrival of fibre to the town, said: “Planning and preparation is vital before setting out on Cairngorms’ treacherous and unpredictable terrain.

“One benefit of fibre broadband in the area means that everyone visiting can keep up to date with information regarding weather forecasts and how to keep safe and be aware when out on the mountainside.”

Gordon Riddler, board member of the Cairngorms National Park Authority, said: “I am very pleased to see fibre broadband services now available in Ballater.

“It’s a big step forward for the area and another strong asset for the National Park."

'Reaping the benefits'

Mark Tate, chief executive of the Cairngorms Business Partnership, added: “It is fantastic to see fibre enabled broadband available in Ballater and we have encouraged as many businesses as possible to come along today to learn what has been delivered and understand better how it can transform their business.

“We would like to see continued investment to give all businesses access to superfast broadband in the National Park, and will continue to work with partners and stakeholders towards this.”

In Kilbarchan and Howwood, the 1,200 homes and businesses that can now access fibre join more than 11,300 premises across Renfrewshire.

Further work is planned in Kilbarchan to extend the network, as some homes are served by Exchange Only lines.

Councillor Mike Holmes, deputy leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: “Renfrewshire Council knows how important access to high-speed internet technology is to both residents and businesses – which is why we’ve invested in Digital Scotland’s Superfast Broadband programme.

“I am looking forward to seeing the positive impact the programme will have on the homes and businesses who choose to take advantage of this new infrastructure and would urge people to contact their service providers as soon as possible and start reaping the benefits.”

Sara Budge, programme director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “Residents and businesses in Kilbarchan and Howwood will see a positive boost in what they can achieve online when they contact their service provider to connect to fibre broadband.”

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