High-speed broadband reaches Newtongrange

Robert Young (Digital Scotland), Glynis Follon (Digital Scotland), Councillor Jim Bryant, Ian Young (Openreach project coordinator) and Sarah Keer-Keer (Midlothian Science Festival). Photo: Mark K Jackson
Robert Young (Digital Scotland), Glynis Follon (Digital Scotland), Councillor Jim Bryant, Ian Young (Openreach project coordinator) and Sarah Keer-Keer (Midlothian Science Festival). Photo: Mark K Jackson

Attendees of the recent Midlothian Science Festival got up to speed with the fibre technology of Digital Scotland’s Superfast broadband.

More than 3000 homes and businesses in Midlothian are now able to connect to high-speed fibre broadband – thanks to the £410m Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

Sarah Keer-Keer, a director of the Midlothian Science Festival, and Midlotihan Councillor Jim Bryant joined members of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband team to unveil one of the new street cabinets that will serve part of Newtongrange.

Councillor Bryant said: “It was a pleasure to join the Digital Scotland team to announce more fibre broadband in Midlothian. It’s good to see this project reaching more communities and giving an increasing number of homes and businesses the chance to connect to high-speed broadband. We’re determined to make sure that everyone in Midlothian has access to digital services – and the skills and confidence to go online and use them.”

To have access to this latest fibre broadband technology local people need to sign up for the new services with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.

Other nearby places where premises have benefited from the Digital Scotland rollout, led by the Scottish Government, include Ford, Temple, Gorebridge, Dalkeith and Penicuik. More local coverage will follow as engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network business, continue work on the ground.

Sarah Keer-Keer added: “It is very exciting news that Newtongrange is now covered by fibre broadband. It will certainly have a positive impact on the area.

“We use the Midlothian Science Festival to cultivate curiosity and communicate the power of knowledge and creativity. Improved internet connections will allow local people to stay in touch regarding our events throughout the festival. As we are interested in communicating the message of curiosity, it was great to be able to learn about the technology that is used to connect fibre broadband to the area.”

Across Scotland, more than 645,000 premises are now able to connect to fibre-based services through the £410 million Digital Scotland project, led by the Scottish Government. That includes around 300 households and businesses in Newtongrange, building on existing commercial coverage locally.

Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable broadband connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from. Whether you own a business, work from home or want to keep in touch with friends and family, fibre broadband enables multiple users to connect to the internet at high speeds and get better, faster access to online services.

Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s exciting news to hear that fibre broadband is available to homes and businesses in Midlothian thanks to the programme.”

BT is investing £126m in the Digital Scotland rollout, in addition to its commercial coverage. Liz Mallinson, BT Scotland’s Fibre Broadband Director, added: “The independent ThinkBroadband website shows that thanks to the DSSB programme and commercial investments, more than 82 per cent of premises in Midlothian can now access superfast broadband speeds of 30Mbps and above. The Digital Scotland rollout is working hard to fill the gaps and it’s great news that thousands more Midlothian households now have the opportunity to access their best ever broadband speeds when they sign up with a service provider. The benefits of superfast connections are endless – from education and business to entertainment, everyone can benefit.”