STONEHAVEN is set to get a faster internet connection next year under plans announced by BT this week.
More than 5,600 homes and businesses in Stonehaven will have access to faster broadband by the Spring of next year.
The BT investment will make broadband speeds of up to 20 megabits per second (Mbps) – more than double the maximum speeds previously available to the majority of UK homes and businesses.
Councillor Graeme Clark has welcomed the news.
He said: “I wholeheartedly welcome this initiative to provide faster broadband to businesses and residents in Stonehaven.
“Rolling-out broadband to rural properties is an expensive undertaking but Stonehaven would be an ideal addition to the network. When we sign up, broadband providers promise us that we will have faster speeds than we have at present.
“A project for Stonehaven will ensure that we have a level playing field with others when it comes to broadband speeds.”
George McGillivray, who is Chairman of the Stonehaven business association and who owns webecom, a Stonehaven based web design company, can see the benefits of the plans.
He said: “More and more people are accessing the internet for information on local businesses and the faster access makes it easier to take advantage of using the power of videos on websites to promote a business.”
By the spring of next year almost 1.4 million Scottish lines are expected to have been upgraded. The new next-generation broadband network is available on an open, wholesale basis to all internet services providers.
This investment is in addition to the £2.5 billion BT roll-out of super-fast fibre-based broadband, which is expected to bring even faster speeds to two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2015.
Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment Alex Neil said: “Today’s announcement by BT is welcome. It is helping to improving broadband access for businesses and communities across the country.
“Clearly, the private sector has an important role to play in helping us deliver our vision. We are committed to putting in place a communications network that will bring benefits to Scotland’s economy and communities.”
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “Our latest investment in Stonehaven and these other Scottish locations marks another major milestone in the development of the nation’s communications.
“It will deliver an important benefit for local businesses and homeworkers, helping to boost their efficiency and competitiveness, while households can make use of the many additional educational and entertainment benefits available with faster broadband.”