Over 3,400 homes and businesses in Stirling’s surrounding villages will see a much-needed transformation to their broadband access thanks to Lothian Broadband Network’s (LBN) rollout of ultrafast gigabit broadband.
LBN will complete the installation of a new 10Gbps capable fibre optic network into three villages surrounding Stirling, less than 12 months after being asked to overhaul internet speeds in the area by the local council.
Funded by The Scottish National Investment Bank and utilising the Building Digital UK Gigabit Voucher Scheme, LBN’s new network will provide the fastest and most reliable network anywhere in the UK to the villages of Cowie, Fallin and Plean, with first customer installs on track for October this year.
CEO, Gavin Rodgers, said: “We are thrilled to be connecting Stirling’s surrounding villages to the UK’s fastest broadband network.
“With support from the Scottish Government, Building Digital UK and the Scottish National Investment Bank, we are on track to complete the network build making all 3,400 premises ready for service by the end of 2023, further transforming connectivity across Scotland.”
A key signatory of the Scottish Full Fibre Charter, LBN was initially approached by Stirling Council in November 2022 to investigate the possibility of taking on this build project. LBN began the network build in July 2023 after working with Building Digital UK to ensure these villages could qualify for intervention supporting the rollout of a gigabit capable network.
Gavin continues: “Being signatories of the Scottish Full Fibre Charter means we are committed to delivering digital infrastructure to the areas of Scotland most in need.
“This area of Scotland in particular had suffered from being included in various build plans which never progressed to delivery, creating an understandable sense of frustration within the communities. Without our intervention these homes would have been left without access to gigabit-capable broadband for years to come which would have further widened the digital divide being experienced by rural communities in Scotland.”
Stirling Council Leader, Councillor Chris Kane said: “Residents in Cowie, Fallin and Plean have been ready to take advantage of the transformational potential of full fibre broadband for some time but have been held back by logistical and technological challenges.
“I’m delighted that Stirling Council are working with LBN to overcome these hurdles, with faster broadband speeds available in the villages later this year. A social tariff package will also ensure nobody is excluded from faster broadband on the basis of cost.
“Full fibre broadband has the potential to transform how we work, live, play and learn and it is great that more of Stirling’s residents will be able to access this service thanks to the innovative solutions of LBN and Stirling Council.”
Scottish Government Innovation Minister Richard Lochhead said: “The Scottish Government recognises the importance of being able to access fast and reliable digital connectivity. It enables people to work remotely, access education and services and stay in touch with friends and family. That’s why I am delighted to see LBN, one of Scotland’s Full Fibre Charter signatories, delivering ultrafast connectivity to rural communities around Stirling.”
Sir John Whittingdale, UK Government Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure adds: “Thanks to LBN, local residents in and around Stirling will now have access to faster and more reliable internet than any other area of the UK – helping to boost connectivity, fuel economic growth and create jobs.
“Importantly, this shows that no matter how rural the area, lightning speed broadband can still reach homes and businesses and the UK Government is determined to bring ultrafast gigabit broadband to every corner of the UK by 2030, backed by up to £210 million in gigabit vouchers for people in remote locations.”
Nicola Douglas, Executive Director at the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB), said: “Ultrafast broadband has a transforming impact on the lives of users; boosting economic growth, reducing inequalities, and helping education.
“By supporting this state-of-the-art fibre roll out we are future proofing access to a broadband network that will make a difference to both rural businesses and homes for years to come.”