Businesses in parts of Aberdeen already have access to Gigabit broadband via the CityFibre metro network and now consumers are set to benefit as the ultrafast broadband roll-out is set to hit the city and is being described as reaching almost every home and business in the city.
Our commitment to Aberdeen is further evidence of the action CityFibre is taking to deliver Britain’s full fibre future. Our existing network in Aberdeen provides us with an eighteen-month head-start on a full fibre roll-out to nearly every home and business in the city. With similar FTTP backbone networks already built in over 40 UK towns and cities, our contribution to national full fibre coverage is well underway.
We are getting on with the job of building Gigabit Britain – at full speed. Greg Mesch, Chief Executive at CityFibre
This is now the second area of the UK to benefit from the Vodafone and CityFibre partnership that is aiming to roll-out full fibre to 1 million premises and around 12 cities. Vodafone will market and sell its ultrafast Gigabit service with CityFibre building and operating the local network.
It is said that the roll-out in Aberdeen will involve at least GBP40m of private funds and with over 117,000 premises that gives a per premise estimate of GBP341 which is the ball bark figure for deploying FTTP using techniques like micro trenching which is faster and less damaging to pavements that traditional trenching. The big question is when and work is set to start in July 2018 and one presumes that once Vodafone launches its ultrafast service in early 2019 that parts of Milton Keynes and Aberdeen will be ready for live service. If you are really keen you can pre-register interest at www.vodafone.co.uk/broadband/ultrafast.
Aberdeen City and its broadband statistics already show the city with 96.1% superfast coverage (30 Mbps and faster) but full fibre coverage from Openreach is low at 0.7% but has been slowly changing as new premises are built.
So how much this roll-out will help Scotland reach its R100 all depends on what is actually meant by ‘nearly every home and business will have access to gigabit-speed broadband’, there is no confirmed undertaking in the press release that 100% of those who cannot get superfast now will be covered, so it might be 99.999% coverage or it might be 99% once the project completes will have to wait and see and importantly what will happen with new estates and things like large homes being convered to flats once the CityFibre roll-out has left town.
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Rural homes in Scotland could access superfast broadband through a new 4G antenna rather than underground cables. Mobile provider EE has trialled the service in Cumbria and believes it could connect 80,000 rural homes in Scotland to much faster internet speeds. The company, part of BT Group, installed routers along with an external antenna to connect to its 4G network and recorded internet speeds over 100Mbps in the Northern Fells area of Cumbria.
It said the scheme has been designed specifically as an alternative for those in rural communities that have yet to be connected with traditional fixed line broadband access. Campaigners have argued that poor broadband and mobile coverage is a barrier to economic growth in parts of Scotland, with weak connectivity making it more difficult to attract people to live and work in remote and rural areas.
EE believes the antenna could connect 80,000 homes to superfast internet speeds (Mark Runnacles/PA)
EE’s 4G network covers 90% of the UK’s landmass and the company said there are 80,000 rural homes in Scotland which could benefit from the solution. Managing director of marketing, Max Taylor, said: “As our network continues to expand into some of the most remote parts of the UK, we’ve seen the amazing impact that 4G connectivity can have on rural communities.
“Our newest 4G home broadband router and antenna takes this one step further, ensuring thousands of families in rural areas across the UK could enjoy the benefits of superfast broadband inside their home for the very first time – whether video-calling the grandparents or streaming their favourite TV series.”
Poor broadband and mobile coverage is a barrier to economic growth in Scotland, business figures have told MPs. The Scottish affairs committee, sitting in Aberdeen yesterday, was told that poor connectivity is also making it more difficult to attract people to live and work in remote and rural areas. Figures from Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, suggest that the percentage of premises in Scotland connected to broadband is lower than the UK average and 4G signal coverage is much poorer than in other parts of the UK.
Charandeep Singh, the head of external relations at Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “Digital connectivity is not just important for businesses in day-to-day operations but acts as an important economic enabler.
“Anything that is a barrier to mobile or…