Broadband boost

More than 7800 homes and businesses in Culter and Banchory now have access to faster broadband, BT announced last week.

The two Deeside towns are among 21 communities across the country – from Nairn in the Highlands to Stranraer in Dumfries and Galloway – which have become the latest to benefit from the roll-out of BT’s next generation broadband service delivered over copper lines.

The BT investment makes available download speeds of up to 20 megabits per second (Mbps) – more than double the speed previously available from BT.

The technology is already available in more than 170 Scottish communities.

By next Spring around 73 per cent of Scottish homes and businesses will be served by an exchange which has been upgraded to deliver these higher speeds.

The new service is available on an open, wholesale basis to all companies providing broadband.

Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, said: “The rapid roll-out of faster broadband continues to reach more communities across Scotland.

“This major investment is playing a vital role in Scotland’s – and Banchory and Culter’s – future prosperity.

“The technology is changing for the better the way we live and work, helping businesses work more efficiently and flexibly and find new markets. And households are better able to make use of the huge range of on-line educational and entertainment opportunities available.

“But there is still much work to be done and we want to work with the public sector to find solutions for even the most challenging locations.”

Liz Cameron, chief executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “Scottish Chambers of Commerce welcome the ongoing work by BT to constantly improve the speed and reach of Scotland’s broadband infrastructure.

“The news that a large number of exchanges up and down the country are going live with a new, upgraded standard of service is great news for Scottish business in terms of their ability to connect with markets and customers.”

This investment in the copper network is in addition to BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out of fibre-based broadband, which will bring even faster speeds to around two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014.