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Scottish National Park will 'benefit hugely' from superfast broadband

Tuesday, May 26th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

A National Park has become the first in Scotland to get superfast broadband.

Residents and visitors in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park will now be able to enjoy broadband speeds of up to 80Mbps.

More than 1,700 homes and businesses in Callander, a town within the National Park, can now access fibre broadband thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

One of the town’s new fibre-enabled street cabinets was unveiled by local hero Rob Roy MacGregor, played by Bob Beverage of Scottish heritage charity the Clanranald Trust.

The cabinet is one of more than 900 across Scotland housing fibre broadband connections – giving 275,000 premises access to superfast speeds.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “It’s great news that so many residents, businesses and visitors to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Parks are now able to access fibre broadband in Callander.

“Callander being live is just another step towards ensuring that by 2020 Scotland achieves its dream of being a world class digital nation.”

Gordon Watson, CEO of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, said: “We have a growing number of homes and businesses in the National Park who will benefit hugely from this development.

“Not least our tourism businesses who need fast, efficient internet access to maintain a strong presence with customers locally and globally.

“It will also help meet the expectations of the four million visitors annually who come to enjoy the park’s towns and villages.”

'Really exciting'

Digital Minister Ed Vaizey said the UK government’s nationwide rollout of superfast broadband is continuing “at pace”.

“Every day we are reaching another 5,000 homes and businesses across the UK and I’m delighted that the residents and businesses of Callander can now benefit from all that superfast speed has to offer.”

Stirling Council’s deputy leader Neil Benny said: “It’s really exciting to hear that so many residences in Callander can now 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 a high-speed network.

“It’s especially exciting to have one of Scotland’s most important historic figures here to help the town take this technological step into the future.”

Councillor Benny said broadband will make a big difference to Callander residents.

BT is investing £126m in the Digital Scotland programme, in addition to its commercial rollout of fibre broadband in Scotland.

BT Scotland director Brendan Dick said: “Bringing fibre broadband to rural communities like Callander is what the Digital Scotland project is all about.

“The arrival of high-speed connections has the potential to be transformational for tourism and other local business sectors.

“It’ll be exciting to see what innovations are introduced over time by the local community, on the back of the infrastructure, to attract visitors, boost the local economy and enhance Callander’s status as gateway to the Highlands and the Trossachs National Park.

Mr Dick described building the network as an “important first step” and said BT is working with National Parks of Scotland to protect the national environment while rolling out superfast broadband.

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