March 10, 2014
Scotland’s largest planned new town, Chapelton, five miles south of Aberdeen, will also be the country’s best connected thanks to an agreement between developers EDC and BT’s infrastructure arm Openreach – the largest of its kind to date.
Elsick Development Company (EDC) is the first large-scale developer in Scotland to invest in ultra-fast-fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP), meaning homes and businesses will enjoy maximum download speeds of 330Mbps – more than 20-times Ofcom’s current UK average speed of 14.7Mbps. The fibre runs directly from the local exchange into homes and businesses.
The Openreach network is open access, allowing any communication provider to deliver services to customers and giving residents the opportunity to choose the package that is right for them on price, brand and more.
Work started on the £2bn 8,000-home new town site in October 2013 and the first houses will be available to buy later this year.
Lord Southesk, director of EDC, said: “Securing FTTP at Chapelton was vital for us to deliver our vision of a truly sustainable, modern community. This service will allow businesses to thrive at Chapelton and will create a real incentive for flexible working, which is a key driver in Aberdeenshire’s employment market.
“I believe FTTP will be a big attraction for people looking for a new home later this year and beyond.”
Brendan Dick, director, BT Scotland, said: “This is exciting news for Scotland’s largest new town. All the new homes and businesses will be served directly by fibre, making Chapelton the first town in Scotland to benefit from ultra-fast broadband speeds.
“Putting fibre into the premises with the bricks also has the potential to give a major boost to the economy of this fledgling community. Independent research has predicted that over a 15 year period BT’s fibre broadband could give the economy of a typical town a multi-million pound boost, creating hundreds of new jobs and start-up businesses.”
In total, BT is spending more than £3 billion on deploying fibre broadband across the UK, including £2.5 billion on its commercial fibre footprint and further funds in rural fibre broadband projects.
Openreach is primarily deploying fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, where the fibre runs from the exchange to a local roadside cabinet. In addition to download speeds of up to 80Mbps, FTTC also delivers upload speeds of up to 20Mbps – and could deliver even faster speeds in the future.