BT has announced a major investment for Peterhead which could help create new businesses and local jobs.
High-speed fibre broadband will be rolled out to more than 5,300 homes and businesses in the Aberdeenshire town during 2013.
Peterhead is one of 21 Scottish communities named in the latest phase of BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out of fibre broadband across the UK. It takes the total number of Scottish homes and businesses now included in the programme to more than 985,000.
The investment is expected to give a major lift to the local economy. Recent research by Regeneris Consulting predicted that over the next 15 years BT’s fibre broadband could give the economy of a typical town a £143 million boost, create 225 new jobs and 140 new start-up businesses.
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “The arrival of fibre broadband in Peterhead will be a massive shot in the arm for the local economy, creating new businesses, jobs and educational opportunities.
“The benefits are major and wide ranging it also brings new potential for offering essential public services on-line and cost savings across the sectors.
“Local firms and households who make the switch to fibre broadband will be able to do so much more with their connection, whether they’re using it for business, entertainment, education, social networking or shopping – or all of these at once.
“They’re joining more than 10 million premises now passed by our fibre network and becoming part of one of the fastest roll-outs of the technology anywhere in the world.”
Welcoming the news, Banff and Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford, said: “Super-fast broadband is an essential building block to economic recovery and growth.
“It gives our local firms a boost and brings us a competitive edge in attracting new businesses, jobs and investment.
“Residents will also benefit from being able to do more, better and faster, online.”
BT’s local network business Openreach is making fibre broadband available to around two-thirds of UK homes and businesses by the end of 20141 using a mix of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP) technologies.
Both offer speeds many times faster than those currently available to most UK homes and businesses. FTTC, where fibre is delivered to the street cabinet, offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps2. FTTP, where fibre runs all the way to homes and businesses, offers download speeds of 110Mbps, with 330Mbps2 coming soon.
By spring 2013 BT aims to make speeds of 330Mbps2 commercially available in any area where fibre broadband has been deployed3. The UK’s current average broadband speed is 7.6Mbps, according to the regulator Ofcom.
Mr Dick added: “As more and more people get connected to the fibre broadband network, it’s increasingly important that those living in our more rural areas don’t miss out.
“In Scotland and across the UK, public bodies are developing plans to boost broadband speeds in even the most challenging areas. BT will compete hard to be the private sector partner of choice in such initiatives and, if selected, we’ll invest further funds to take faster broadband to as many people as possible.
“”We want to help Scotland achieve world-class digital connectivity and make sure the communities where we provide services and jobs remain vibrant, strong and connected.”
For further information on Openreach’s fibre broadband programme visit www.superfast-openreach.co.uk