Broadband take-up hits 60 per cent as top tourist centre connects

Prehistoric Scotland met the 21st century with the Crannog Centre in Kenmore being the latest location to sign up to receive fibre broadband thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

Across Scotland of the 943,000 homes and businesses who have received deployment thanks to the programme, more than 60% have signed up and are now benefiting.

Situated in the remote countryside, the Crannog Centre can now receive speeds of over 42Mbps thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme – helping to reach more Iron Age historians and enthusiasts in Scotland and across the world and cementing the Crannog Centre as a top-notch tourist destination and national archaeological site.

Welcoming over 20,000 visitors a year, the Crannog Centre is one of many local businesses and organisations able to benefit from a much improved digital network, using fibre technologies, thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable broadband connections at a range of speeds* and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from. Local people need to sign up for the new, faster services with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.

Connectivity Minister Paul Wheelhouse commented: "It’s wonderful to hear that the Crannog Centre is one of the many homes and business that make up the 60% who have now upgraded to better broadband through the Digital Scotland programme.

“Thanks to additional funding leveraged into the programme, we are continuing to build into 2020. This funding is from a combination of efficiency savings, innovation and reinvestment as a result of our success in achieving higher than predicted fibre take-up levels.

“Digital technology is at the forefront of today's society. Superfast broadband can help transform businesses by enabling them to stay connected with customers and colleagues. It has a positive impact, where fast, reliable connections enable everyone to learn, work, play and shop, all in the comfort of their own home.”

Delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland – funding partners include BT Group, the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund.

Whether you own a business, work from home or want to keep in touch with friends and family, fibre broadband enables multiple users to connect to the internet at high speeds and get better, faster access to online services.

The Crannog Centre’s Ellen Pryde said: “Faster broadband has made a huge difference to the museum. The Centre receives thousands of visitors a year from all across the world, while also working with local community groups, crafters, musicians and schools to deliver both in-house events and outreach days throughout the year.

“Faster broadband has made an enormous difference to how the museum is marketed and how it engages with its international audience and visitors from across Scotland.“

Ellen added: “Overall, having broadband available in our rural area has enabled our business to grow not only commercially, but functionally and with a greater social impact as well.”

The programme has been delivered on the ground by engineers from Openreach, with their focus during the final months of the programme on building ultrafast full fibre networks* to reach more difficult locations.

Brendan Dick, Chair of the Openreach Board in Scotland, said: “It’s fantastic news that 60 per cent of premises reached by the Digital Scotland rollout have now chosen to connect to the faster services available.

“Everyone involved knows just how big a task it’s been to build a fibre network across some of Europe’s most remote and challenging terrain.

“When we started, there were swathes of Scotland where there were no plans for any fast broadband. Today, 94 per cent of the country can get a superfast service. That is truly transformational.”