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Cumbernauld households could benefit in Scottish Government broadband boost bonanza

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 14:51 GMT on Tuesday, July 9th, 2013.

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Over £260m announced to speed up Scotland's internet. Image is copyright of Scott Campbell/ Cumbernauld Media.

CUMBERNAULD households, particularly north of the A80, could be encouraged by news today that businesses and homes throughout Scotland are set to reap the rewards of high-speed fibre broadband.

It was announced today, by the Scottish Government, that there will be £264 million investment in high-speed fibre broadband across Scotland.

The project will be delivered by BT – who are investing £106.7m in the partnership, led by the Scottish Government, who will be working together with local authorities and Broadband Delivery UK in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.  North Lanarkshire Council will also be in discussions with the Scottish Government about the upgrade.

North Lanarkshire Council's Regeneration Convener Councillor David Fagan said: "I am looking forward to the council working with BT to improve broadband connections throughout the area.

"In many ways we are fortunate, as the existing investment plans of BT and the other telecoms companies are already anticipated to result in 84% of North Lanarkshire premises having access to superfast broadband speeds by 2015.”

The new project will ensure that 85 per cent of Scottish properties have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2015 and around 95 per cent by the end of 2017.

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Councillor Fagan added: "The £700,000 we are investing, together with a significant funding commitment from BT and the Scottish Government's "Step Change" project, will extend that coverage to more than 98% by 2017.

"Top class communications are vital to this area if we are to see our economy grow and businesses flourish."

Speaking during a visit to a BT exchange building in Pitt Street, Glasgow, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "Today's announcement signals the start of one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in the whole of Europe.  It will connect communities across rural and urban areas, providing a platform for future economic development and regeneration.

"Next generation broadband enables businesses to compete on the international stage.  It has the potential to transform the way in which we educate our children, provide health and social care and deliver our public services. It provides Scotland with a platform upon which we can build and sustain a world class digital country.

Bill Murphy, BT managing director of Next Generation Access, said: "Having invested significantly in our own commercial project to build a fibre network covering almost 1.5 million premises in Scotland, we're incredibly excited to be working in partnership with the Scottish Government and local authorities to extend the technology into those mainly rural and remote parts of Scotland that the market alone could not reach."

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