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BT’s “Fibre Broadband” Finally Arrives in Rothesay on the Isle of Bute

Thursday, Jul 23rd, 2015 (12:01 am) - Score 3,720

After a long wait some 2,700 premises in Rothesay, which is the main town of around 5,000 people on the Isle of Bute (West Scotland), have finally been given access to “high-speed fibre broadband” (FTTC) connectivity as part of the wider Digital Scotland project.

Some may recall that Rothesay was the scene of some capacity gripes against BT’s infrastructure last year (here), which prevented a number of premises from being able to gain a new basic broadband connection.

Separately BT has also been deploying new fibre optic infrastructure to the islands and the main phase of that work completed last year, which then left BTOpenreach to build the new street cabinets and other land-based infrastructure.

Thankfully this work has since progressed and as a result locals, including some in the neighbouring village of Ardbeg, can finally order the new connectivity with download speeds of up to 80Mbps. More villages across the island are set to follow.

Stuart Robertson, HIE’s Director of Digital, said:

Openreach engineers will be back in the area soon to roll out services to more people. This will include creating brand new networks to connect hundreds of premises which currently get their telecoms direct from the exchange, known as ‘Exchange Only’ lines. This includes many premises in the town centre.”

Rothesay locals should expect the new service to become available in stages through seven street cabinets, six of which are in the main town and one in Ardbeg. Meanwhile the next phase of work will begin during the autumn, which among other areas will include the north of Bute (e.g. Craigmore) and this will then continue into 2016 at Kilchattan Bay.

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland Director, said:

As part of BT’s most complex subsea fibre deployment in UK waters, two subsea links between Bute and Cowal and between Bute and Cumbrae have helped to bring fibre broadband to Rothesay. Engineers have laid more than 250 miles of subsea cable around Scotland’s shores which, along with the newly installed street cabinets and underground cable around Rothesay, adds to the the fibre jigsaw in the area.

While the steamships brought economic prosperity to places like Bute, fibre broadband will equally bring another revolution in working life to Argyll and Bute, with access to the latest technologies such as video conferencing, faster file sharing and cloud-based services. Our engineers will continue to use the latest technologies to spread the benefits of fibre broadband across Scotland.”

Sadly BT’s deployment won’t reach everybody and alternative methods are being considered for those who miss out.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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