Rest of Scotland project starts to deliver live cabinets
Congratulations to those residents in Kirkton of Skene in Aberdeenshire, you have the claim to fame of hosting the first fibre cabinet to go live as part of the 'Rest of Scotland' project under the Digital Scotland umbrella. The project (in conjunction with the Highlands and Islands project) has a lesser target than the rest of the UK, aiming to just get 85% of premises across Scotland with access to a fibre based service. This lower target probably being a reflection of expected difficulties in reaching the remoter villages of Scotland.
The cabinet that has gone live is cabinet 10, which is on the edge of the car park by the Red Star Inn in Kirkton of Skene so should provide good speeds to many people. Looking across the whole exchange area (cabinet is part of the Aberdeen Kingswells exchange) this is the first cabinet to go live on the exchange and we estimate that once all the likely cabinets are live superfast coverage will be in the 55% to 70% range. This is low because of the amount of TPON and Exchange Only (EO) connections (~15% of lines on the exchange) and while we believe some EO is to be dealt with under the project, we have heard nothing about the old TPON area of the exchange. It may be that these areas need to wait for Scotland to plan and start implementing the next part of the project, i.e. 95% fibre based coverage for some point in 2017/2018.
While there seems to be a negative feel about this announcement, a good few thousand are going to see superfast speeds via the work by the project in the area and there are signs of some FTTP possibly to the industrial estate around the AB32 6JQ postcode area.
At least by getting cabinet 10 up and running first one of the existing slow areas (we see speeds of 1 to 2.5 Mbps) has been addressed. A common complaint is that the broadband projects are not addressing the slow areas first so cabinet 10 ticks that box.