BT has announced plans to make faster broadband available to almost 4,000 homes and businesses in Brechin: a move that it is hoped will encourage more businesses to move to the area.
It is among the latest 39 Scottish communities to be included in the roll-out of BT’s next generation broadband service delivered over copper lines. They are due to be upgraded by the spring of next year.
The BT investment will make available download speeds of up to 20 megabits per second (Mbps) – more than double the speed previously available from BT.
By next spring, around three quarters of homes and businesses in Scotland 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.
Welcoming the news, Angus Council Infrastructure Services convener Mairi Evans said: “This important step forward for Brechin has been eagerly awaited and adds to the areas of Angus where faster broadband is already available.
“This kind of major investment has never been more vital and is an essential part of building a more prosperous Angus in these economically uncertain times. Businesses can use the technology to be more efficient and competitive, whilst individuals can develop their education and skills for a fast changing world. Efficient, high-speed communications are critical to our future success.”
“Although this looks to provide faster speeds to Brechin itself, once they have the main towns in Angus covered then they start looking at expanding it out further, so it is definitely a good starting point.
“The thing I realised from the Oil Conference and the Energy Conference is that if we want to bring businesses to this area, and we want to keep them here, then we need to be competitive and we need to have the faster broadband speeds so that we are on the same level as other areas.
“That is the most important thing - keeping people here.
“One thing I found very interesting was that in Argyle, after switching off the analogue TV signal, it has freed up signal range which they are using to test with broadband signal.
“This free analogue signal is better as it can go around hills and reach further than other signals do meaning that rural areas would not get top speeds like towns do but the speeds that they would get be a lot better than now.
“It was thought that this test might not go any further than this test stage but it is interesting to see that things are moving forward.”
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.
Super-fast fibre-based broadband is already available in Montrose, with Forfar and Arbroath to follow.