More than 460 households and businesses in Haddington are now able to connect to fibre broadband, with more to follow, thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.
The properties in Haddington join more than 5,300 homes and businesses in East Lothian which are now able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout.
Other areas where fibre has gone live thanks to the programme include Aberlady, Gifford, Longniddry, Gullane and Port Seton, with more areas planned in the coming months as engineers from BT’s local network business Openreach continue work on the ground.
The coverage in Haddington builds on BT’s commercial rollout of fibre broadband there, which passes nearly 3,500 more local homes and businesses. The fibre network has also been extended in Cockenzie and Tranent by the Digital Scotland rollout.
To help local people find out more about the benefits of the high-speed service, a special drop-in event will be held on Court Street, between 12 and 3pm, on Friday November 20. Anyone from Haddington and the surrounding area interested in finding out how fibre broadband works and the benefits it can provide is welcome to attend the free event.
The latest premises are among more than 455,000 across Scotland which can now access fibre broadband services at speeds of up to 80Mbps* as part of the £410 million Digital Scotland rollout. The project underpins the Scottish Government’s aim of delivering world class connectivity by 2020.
Fibre broadband enables multiple users in a home or business to access the internet, download and share large files at the same time more quickly than ever before. In order to take advantage of the higher speeds now available, residents should contact their service provider.
During the event, members of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme will be on hand to get people up to speed with the technology and provide advice on areas such as signing up with a service provider.
Those attending will also be able to climb aboard the new Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase, a specially-adapted vehicle which features all of the equipment used in the roll-out of fibre broadband. The unique vehicle includes equipment which is familiar to members of the public – like the new green street cabinets – as well as some of the things they don’t often see, such as how fibre-optic cables are ‘blown’ underground, as part of the deployment.
Councillor John McMillan, East Lothian Council’s spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism, said: “It’s really exciting to hear that so many residences in and around Haddington are already able to 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 fibre broadband.
“We hope to have a good turn-out at the event on Court Street and demonstrate to our residents and various businesses the huge benefits which fibre broadband will provide.”
Sara Budge, programme director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s great news that many residents and businesses in Haddington are now able to receive fibre broadband thanks to the programme, with more local coverage to follow.
“I’m also excited that we’ll be having our new Digital Scotland fibre showcase in the village. This will give residents an interesting and detailed idea of what fibre broadband can provide and exactly how it’s delivered.
“The difference a high-speed connection can make is amazing, giving much more flexibility at work or in the home. I hope that local residents will come along to the event at The Cargill Centre to get an understanding of the boost they can expect from a fast fibre broadband connection when they sign up with a service provider.”
BT is investing £126 million in the Digital Scotland programme, in addition to its commercial rollout of fibre broadband in Scotland.
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland Director, said: “Thousands more people in East Lothian now have access to their best ever broadband speeds thanks to the Digital Scotland project, which builds on BT’s commercial roll-out in some towns including Haddington.
“It means that in total nearly 35,000 East Lothian households can now access a fibre broadband connection and, as the new high-speed network continues to extend across the area, making the most of it is vital. I hope local people and businesses will soon be taking advantage of all the opportunities on offer.”
Local people can check the interactive map on the Digital Scotland website (www.digitalscotland.org/whereandwhen) to find out if they can get the service and further information is also available on Twitter @ScotSuperfast or Facebook at www.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast