The Digital Scotland fibre showcase bus has been in Argyll and Bute to promote the arrival of high speed fibre broadband for local homes and businesses.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and BT staff, who are part of the Digital Scotland partnership delivering a £146m fibre broadband roll-out across the region, met with local community representatives in Taynuilt to highlight the new broadband services. The showcase bus also visited Connel, N Connel and Benderloch.
The roll-out of a new fibre optic network has reached around 57% of Argyll and Bute homes and businesses so far and is expected to extend this coverage to more than 80% of premises by the end of the year.
Davie Sloss of the Taynuilt Community Council commented: “It was great to have the showcase in the village to raise awareness that fibre broadband has arrived here. Local people were able to ask questions about how the technology works, and about coverage. Our local community council will be sharing the news and highlighting that the new fibre services are completely different from existing broadband. You aren’t upgraded automatically when it's available - people do need to order if they want it.”
An online checker allows customers to see if fibre services are available
Lesley Gallagher, of HIE’s digital team, said: “We've enjoyed chatting to local people in Taynuilt and in neighbouring villages who are excited that the project is improving connectivity in the area. The roll-out is still very much underway – with more fibre cabinets coming for Taynuilt, out from N Connel towards Achnacairn and for coastal communities in the Appin area.”
“The roll-out opens up the opportunity to live and work from the most fantastic locations. This project is dramatically changing access to better broadband. We know there’s further to go yet in reaching even more people, but towns and villages of all sizes are already seeing the benefits.”
Local Argyll and Bute Councillors Elaine Robertson, Kieron Green and Julie McKenzie joined local Taynuilt residents at the village hall to discuss digital with the team.
Robert Thorburn, BT’s programme manager for the Highlands and Islands project said: "A key part of the project has been to build a core fibre optic network across parts of the Highlands and Islands which couldn’t be reached before. It will help the partnership reach more than 8 out of 10 Argyll and Bute premises by the end of this year, with the potential to reach even further in future projects.
"Fibre broadband through Fibre to the Cabinet technology offers fast and reliable broadband connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps. 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.”