Council plough cash into broadband

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Faster broadband will be coming to North Lanarkshire thanks to an ambitious partnership project announced this week, and Kilsyth is one of the areas to benefit.

North Lanarkshire Council is ploughing £700,000 into the project, launched with telecoms giant BT, to deliver superfast fibre optic broadband connections throughout the local authority area, and although work has begun, it will take up to four years to complete.

Fibre broadband is already available to almost 35,000 homes and business in Cumbernauld, although campaigners are continuing to fight for improvements north of the A80.

It was already announced last year that Kilsyth will benefit from BT’s £2.5bn commercial upgrade programme, which will roll out high-speed fibre broadband this year.

The new cabinets, which thanks to technological developments are more like ‘mini-exchanges’, will be installed alongside the familiar ‘wired’ boxes.

North Lanarkshire’s regeneration and infrastructure convener David Fagan, said: “To attract new businesses and build our local economy we need high speed, reliable communications links. This work will also provide many home internet users with faster connections which will allow them to use services such as catch-up television and online gaming. However, the real benefits will be to businesses and not just in obvious ways, like fast email connections.

“Take the studio complex being pulled together for the Outlander TV series. While the episodes will be shot and edited in Cumbernauld, the digital ‘footage’ will need to be transferred to the US for post-production work like inserting special effects and cgi. To do that properly needs a fast, very fast, broadband connection.”

£264million is being spent in areas of Scotland where commericial upgrades are not viable.