Elie business unveils latest high-speed fibre broadband

Nearly 600 homes and businesses in Elie and Earlsferry are now able to connect to high-speed fibre broadband, thanks to the £428M Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme. The Digital Scotland team were joined today by Graham Bucknall from The Ship Inn - which has recently upgraded to fibre broadband - and members of Fife Council to celebrate fibre availability in the East Neuk.

Nearly 600 homes and businesses in Elie and Earlsferry are now able to connect to high-speed fibre broadband, thanks to the £428M Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

The Digital Scotland team celebrated fibre availability in the East Neuk this week as they visited a fibre street cabinet that serves part of Elie. They were joined by Graham Bucknall from The Ship Inn – which has recently upgraded to fibre broadband – and Councillor Linda Holt.

The latest premises are among around 800,000 homes and businesses across Scotland which are now able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout.

Other areas in Fife to benefit from the rollout, led by the Scottish Government, now include Auchterderran, Crail, Kincardine, Newton of Falkland, Peat Inn, St Monans and St Andrews. More local coverage will follow as engineers from Openreach – Scotland’s digital network business - continue work on the ground.

Local people can check the Digital Scotland website - http://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/where-when/ - to find out if they are able to access the latest fibre broadband technology. People need to sign up with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.

Graham from The Ship Inn said: “It was a pleasure to join the Digital Scotland team to celebrate the availability of fibre broadband in Elie. It's good to see this project reaching more communities and giving an increasing number of homes and businesses the chance to connect to high-speed broadband.

“High-speed broadband is becoming increasingly important in people’s lives. Whether it is for running a successful business such as ours, or providing world-class facilities to our many visitors from Scotland, the UK or around the world, high-speed broadband is increasingly being seen not as a ‘nice-to-have’ but as an essential.

“This latest roll-out from Digital Scotland is a vital ingredient in enabling us to provide a world-class infrastructure to what is already, in Fife and Scotland, a world-class destination.

“And to see how the new world of high broadband speeds fits with the traditional community aspect of the East Neuk of Fife, come and join us this Saturday, 4th November, at 7pm for our fun-filled Fireworks and Bonfire Night on the beach, where our good friend Greg Hemphill, of Still Game, will be starting the fun.”

Councillor Altany Craik, Convener, Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, added: “It is positive news that the Digital Scotland programme is now live across many towns in Fife. I’m also pleased that superfast broadband is moving into more rural areas, such as the East Neuk. Fibre broadband is making a difference, whether you work from home, run a small business or are a busy family all wanting online at the same time.

“Digital connectivity for all is important for an inclusive society and we continue to call for affordable, sustainable internet access to create a fairer Fife. “Fast internet access is essential for Fife–based firms and residents to increase connectivity, boost business growth and drive competitiveness. That’s why Fife Council has invested £2.8M in supporting this new infrastructure that will further transform the ability of Fife to attract investment, create jobs and help make Fife the best place to do business.”

Councillor Donald Lothian, Convener, Fife Council’s North East Fife Area Committee, said: “The arrival of fibre broadband will give a further huge boost to local people, businesses and tourism in the area. More than 51,000 homes and businesses in Fife can now access superfast speeds thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme. It’s great to see this programme reaching more communities and giving an increasing number of homes and businesses the opportunity to connect to high-speed broadband

“It also means that tourists will be able to see all that the town of Elie has to offer and keep in touch with friends and family while they’re visiting.

“A high-speed connection has become almost as essential as gas, electricity and water, and it’s fantastic to see this being improved.”

Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable broadband connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps* and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from. 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.

Linda Holt, Councillor for East Neuk and Landward, added: "Until yesterday I was one of the thousands of people in North East Fife who felt she had no alternative but to labour under slow internet speeds. I did not realise that a fibre connection with ten times my current speed was available for the asking. But you have to ask - your internet provider will not upgrade you automatically.

“So I urge everyone to check whether they can access fibre broadband by going to the Digital Scotland website, and if they can, phone their internet provider about getting the upgrade installed. Digital Scotland has made my children, my partner who works from home and me very happy!"

Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s fantastic news that the programme has been able to benefit The Ship Inn so significantly in Elie.

“I would like to thank Graham Bucknall and Councillor Linda Holt for joining us to celebrate fibre availability in Fife this week and I hope that the Firework and Bonfire Night on Saturday goes well.”

Digital Scotland funding partners include the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, BT Group, the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund.

BT Group is investing £126 million in the rollout, and the total project value includes around £18 million which is being reinvested back in to the programme as a result of stronger than expected early take-up.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach fibre partnership director for Scotland, said: “Like The Ship Inn, thousands of people and businesses across Fife now have the opportunity to access their best-ever broadband speeds when they sign up with a service provider. There’s lots of competition out there, so people may find they could be surfing at much higher speeds at a similar cost to their current service.”

Further information is also available on Twitter @ScotSuperfast or Facebook at www.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast


*These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

Notes to editors:

Due to the current network topography and the economics of deployment, it is likely that not all premises within selected exchange areas will be able to access fibre-based broadband at the same point in the roll-out.

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme aims to provide fibre broadband infrastructure to parts of Scotland not included in commercial providers’ investment plans. Combined with current commercial roll-out plans, the programme will deliver access to fibre broadband to around 95% of premises by the end of the current contract.

About BDUK

Superfast Britain is a UK Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:

£780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017

£150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities

£150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services

Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.

For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk

About Openreach

Openreach is Britain’s digital network business. That means we connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses – large and small – to the world. It’s our mission to build the best possible network with the highest quality service, and make sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.

Our 30,400 people work on behalf of more than 580 communications providers like Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and BT. Our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, covering more than 26.8 million premises. And our technology is the basis of Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest of the G20 countries.

We’re working hard to give people the broadband speeds they need at work and at home. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11bn into our network. And we now manage more than 158 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, and from Wales to the east coast. But we’re not stopping there – we’re making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.

We’re owned by BT Group and independently governed. Our business is highly regulated, and more than 90 per cent of our revenue comes from services that are regulated by Ofcom. Any company can access our products under the same prices, terms and conditions.

In the year ending 31 March 2017, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.

To find out more about us and what we do, go to openreach.co.uk.