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Superfast broadband arrives in Rothesay
Thursday 23 July 2015 00:22:11 by Andrew Ferguson

The HIE project in Scotland after working to get subsea fibre links in place between the various islands is starting to deliver cabinets offering FTTC at a good rate. With 7 cabinets going live in Rothesay and 1 in Ardbeg (just to the north of Rothesay) the HIE project is celebrating the arrival of superfast services to the Isle of Bute.

"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."

HIE’s Director of Digital, Stuart Robertson

The HIE release mentions seven cabinets, so we suspect the discrepancy is simply that an additional cabinet has gone live on the exchange since the press release was signed off. The news that the EO lines will see improvements and is good news for those outside the 2,700 premises in this initial roll-out.

For those going on holiday to the area during the school holidays it is probably too late for hotels and guest houses to have upgraded and be offering better Wi-Fi, but fingers crossed it will only be a matter of weeks as the jump from the old up to 8 Mbps to VDSL2 will give speeds many times faster for the vast majority and thus businesses and residents should be keen to upgrade.

For those keen to know which cabinets are live, we know of cabs 1,2,3,5,6,7,8 and 9 on the Rothesay exchange that are live and believe cabinet 4 is on the plan but not live yet and there are also hints that some of EO upgrades may just FTTP based, but one cannot be sure until the network has been built.

thinkbroadband assessment of Superfast Broadband Coverage in the Arygll and Bute Local Authority Area- as of 22nd July 2015
% fibre based % superfast
24 Mbps or faster
% superfast
30 Mbps or faster
% cable % Openreach FTTP % Under 2 Mbps USC % Under 15 Mbps
27.8% 24.7% 24% 0% 0% 1.2% 63.7%

The coverage at superfast (30 Mbps) speeds may seem low at 24% but the pace of change is rapid as on 6th July coverage was just 12.2% and hopefully if take-up is good we will quickly start to see the average speeds rise from the current 5.8 Mbps of Q2/2015.

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