Superfast broadband is now available in Maybole
Residents in the South Ayrshire town of Maybole are now part of the 'great chieftains o' the fibre-race' thanks to Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband and the arrival of fibre to the area.
At a special event, one of Maybole's most famous couples, William Burness and Agnes Broun – parents to the great Bard Robert Burns himself – unveiled one of the new street cabinets that will provide high-speed broadband services for around 2,008 homes and businesses in the town.
William and Agnes – played by Stuart Cochrane and Mhairi Gowans from the National Trust for Scotland – were joined by South Ayrshire Councillors Brian Connolly, Ann Galbraith, and Bill Grant as well as pupils from Carrick Academy to celebrate this exciting news.
The local premises are among more than 220,000 across Scotland which can now access fibre broadband services at speeds of up to 80Mbps as part of the £410 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband rollout. These are the top wholesale speeds available to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary
And local residents took the opportunity to drop in to a special event at the Carrick Centre, where they could hear about the benefits of broadband and get advice on signing up with a service provider.
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.
The rollout is being delivered on the ground by engineers from BT's local network business, Openreach. With more than 850 new cabinets now installed across Scotland to house the fibre connections, the project underpins the Scottish Government's aim of delivering world class connectivity by 2020.
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, 85 per cent of premises in Scotland will have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2015/16 and around 95 per cent by the end of 2017/18.
Councillor Bill Grant, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure, said: "It's really exciting that so many residences in Maybole can now connect to fibre broadband. Getting digital broadband into our local communities lets homes and businesses connect to a high-speed network that will really make a difference for them.
"It's especially exciting to have two of Maybole's most important historic characters help the town take this technological step into the future. Maybole played a vital role in the lives of Robert Burns' parents, William and Agnes – it's where they met and got married – so if it wasn't for the town, we wouldn't have one of Scotland's most beloved poets. And we can only imagine how they – and Rabbie – would have taken to superfast broadband!
"It's great that so many people came along to the Carrick Centre not only to celebrate getting connected, but to better understand the benefits broadband will bring to rural communities."
Pupils from Carrick Academy also joined in the celebrations including Chloe Hodge, Aiva Dickie, Alex Gardner and Carly Aitken who are all in 2nd year at the school. They said: "Superfast broadband will be much better and means we won't have to sit about waiting for slow connections, which are really annoying. It'll be much easier to do what we want to online and much quicker too, which is great."
Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: "It's great news that many residents and businesses in and around Maybole are now able to receive fibre broadband thanks to the programme, with more local coverage to follow. The difference that fibre broadband can make is amazing, giving much more flexibility whether it's at work or in the home. It makes it all the more satisfying knowing that it's had such a welcoming response from Maybole's residents, especially for something that will be a huge benefit to their lives."
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: "Hundreds of people in Maybole now have access to their best ever broadband speeds, and more will follow. As the fibre network extends across South Ayrshire, making the most of it is vital.
"I hope local people and businesses in the area will soon be taking advantage of all the opportunities on offer – which could even include looking up the works of our National Bard online or building connections with Burns Societies and enthusiasts around the world."
Users can check the interactive map on the Digital Scotland website (http://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