With Valentine’s Day just around the corner the Evanton community have been jumping with joy – loving the arrival of fibre optic broadband in the village.
Youngsters from Kiltearn Primary, Evanton councillor Mike Finlayson and local business people met with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and BT, partners in the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband project, to find out how the brand new high-speed fibre cabinet in their village works.
Download speeds of up to 80Mbps* are available to order for those connected to it, and services for more people will follow when a further cabinet is built in the village later in the programme.
Stuart Robertson, Director of Digital at HIE said: “It’s great news that latest broadband services are now available to order in Evanton. The village has a real mix of local businesses and homes which now have the option to look at how they could benefit from fibre broadband. This could be everything from companies offering a wider range of online services to families getting the best from latest technology at home.”
Highland councillor Mike Finlayson commented: “It was fascinating for the pupils and for us to see what is involved in bringing superfast services to Evanton. Many can order it now if they want to and more people will be able to access it as roll out continues.”
The roll-out of fibre broadband to the Ross-shire village is part of a much bigger £146m Highlands and Islands investment which is creating a massive fibre optic network across the region, opening up next generation broadband to many homes and businesses for the first time. By the end of 2016, 84% of the region’s premises will be covered. Other local locations where services are available include Alness and Invergordon.
In the Highlands and Islands the Digital Scotland funding partners include the Scottish Government, the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), HIE, and private sector partners BT who are delivering the contract on the ground.
Robert Thorburn, BT’s Highlands and Islands Programme Manager, said: “In Evanton, where customers were all previously connected directly to the exchange, we have built a brand new local network and a cabinet to bring them services. Across the Highlands and Islands we are building hundreds of new cabinets to bring fibre to people for the first time.”
Fibre broadband makes it easier for people to access the internet, download and share large files at the same time and more quickly than ever before. Anyone who wants to check availability or roll-out progress can check with their service provider or on our interactive map
*These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
Due to the current network topography, and the economics of deployment, it is likely that some premises within selected exchange areas will not be able to access fibre-based broadband at the same point in the roll-out. Further announcements will be made as more areas are able to access the growing fibre infrastructure.
Our deployment plans are subject to change. The expectations reflected in this plan are reasonable, but because our rollout involves risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ from those expressed or implied.
You can see a full list of areas where fibre broadband has started here
The UK Government announced on Monday that more than two million homes and businesses have now been reached by superfast broadband partnerships across the UK. The UK Government is investing £1.7bn in these rollouts as a key part of its long term economic plan.