Media Release: Flexible, new high-speed communications service helps Scottish businesses do more for less

A NEW, high-speed communications network designed to save businesses, shops, schools and other organisations time and money is being expanded in Scotland by BT.

Nine towns – from Kirkwall in Orkney and Wick in the Highlands to Lockerbie in Dumfries & Galloway – will be the next to benefit from upgrades, which will be completed by the Spring. A full list is at the end of this news release.

BT’s sophisticated Ethernet technology allows medium-sized businesses and other organisations to opt for the guaranteed broadband speed of their choice over their own dedicated line.

Customers can choose Ethernet speeds between one megabit per second (Mbps) and ten Gigabits per second (Gbits), depending on their needs. At the top rate of 10Gbits the system is capable of transmitting an astonishing ten billion bits of information per second.

Advances in technology mean the service is available at a fraction of the cost of a comparable one provided previously by a similar, traditional private network.

The BT technology is already live in more than 90 Scottish locations including Peebles, Forres, Inverness, Arbroath, Stirling and Dunbar. Another 19 Scottish exchange areas are also due to be upgraded, including the nine announced today.

Medium-sized organisations using voice, data, video and other bandwidth-hungry applications across more than one site are the most likely users. The highly flexible system can be easily expanded as a business or organisation grows.

Ethernet is available on an open, wholesale basis to all communications companies providing business services. It is already being used by many mobile phone operators to address the explosive growth in demand for mobile data services across the UK.

The announcement was welcomed by several MSPs in the areas due for upgrade, including the MSP for Aberdeenshire East, Alex Salmond, who said: “Connecting rural Scotland to a twenty-first century communications network is essential, bringing benefits to the rural economy and the community as a whole.

“This investment in high-speed technology in Turriff will enable varied local firms and organisations to communicate more efficiently and do business more effectively.

“Ensuring all parts of Scotland have access to the next generation high-speed broadband by 2020 is a key priority for the Scottish Government and it is clear that the private sector has a significant role to play as well.  This announcement by BT will be welcomed in my constituency as a step towards achieving that vision.”

Polly Purvis, executive director of ScotlandIS, the trade body for Scotland’s ICT industry, said: “We welcome this further investment of high-speed technology in Scotland and the enhancements it will make to our communications infrastructure.

“Developments like these are key to enabling local firms and organisations across a wide variety of industry sectors to thrive and grow, as well as helping them to become more efficient in the way they communicate and do business in an increasingly competitive market place.”

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “Ethernet is an important part of Scotland’s communications story.  Its arrival in these nine new locations will be attractive to potential inward investors and help local businesses work and communicate more effectively.

“It can also help public sector organisations run even more efficient networks, saving money and protecting public services.

“Ethernet gives organisations the ability to connect to their sites and customers locally, around the UK and internationally on an extremely secure and reliable network.

“BT is the only company consistently investing in a mixture of faster, next generation broadband and Ethernet services both in and outside Scotland’s major urban areas.”

This expansion of Ethernet is in addition to the £2.5 billion BT roll-out of super-fast fibre-based broadband, expected to reach two-thirds of the UK homes and businesses by the end of 2014.

The latest locations added to the programme are:





Notes to editors

With more than 1,065 live fibre nodes in the UK today, increasingly BT’s Ethernet service is being recognised as a high quality, flexible and cost efficient service. Each component of BT’s wholesale service meets the mandatory government security assurance levels required to support Public Services Network (PSN) opportunities in the UK. This demonstrates BT’s commitment to the highest levels of service, performance and technical capabilities on its next generation Ethernet products.

For further information

Enquiries about this news release should be made to the BT Scotland Press Office on 0800 085 0660.  All news releases can be accessed at our web site:

About BT

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries.  Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services.  BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

In the year ended 31 March 2011, BT Group’s revenue was £20,076m with profit before taxation of £1,717m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group.  BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

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Contact: Mitch Reid
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