UK telecommunications infrastructure giant BT has announced plans to expand quality high speed broadband links in Scotland to the point where over a million homes and businesses across the region will be able to access the facility by the end of 2013.
BT said that part of the expansion would include 147,000 homes and businesses across 35 localities in Scotland – including communities in Bute, Argyll, the Highlands, and the Borders – being offered access to the company’s latest fibre-optic broadband technology.
Commenting on the benefits accruing from his organisation’s activities, the director of BT Scotland, Brendan Dick, said:
“The latest major investment will help the 35 communities benefiting – many in more rural locations – to overcome the current economic challenges and take full advantage of the upturn when it comes…in an increasingly connected world, high-speed communications will become even more essential in the years ahead.”
The eventual total high-speed broadband coverage projected by BT for Scotland –reaching a total of 1.13 million premises – has been welcomed by many local community and business leaders who have long campaigned for the expansion of broadband in the region, particularly in rural areas where its non-availability has been most pronounced.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s secretary for infrastructure, commented:
“It is essential that households and businesses everywhere in Scotland have access to high-speed connectivity, and fibre broadband will play a key role in enhancing our digital offering.”
In addition to enabling businesses to send and receive data over the internet in a quick and efficient way – and to use web resources more effectively – high-speed broadband has also been identified as an essential prerequisite for accessing internet protocol (IP) telephony and business VoIP (voice over internet protocol) services.
These IP telephony services, though often secured through the cost-effective provision of a host business VoIP provider or VoIP reseller, still rely on the availability of a quality broadband interface.