BT investment welcomed by IT trade body ScotlandIS

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A NEW, high-speed communications network designed to save businesses, shops, schools and other organisations time and money is now available in Stranraer, BT announced this week.

The town is among the latest communities in Scotland to benefit from the upgrade. BT’s sophisticated Ethernet technology allows medium-sized businesses and other organisations to opt for the guaranteed broadband speed of their choice over their own dedicated line.

Customers can choose Ethernet speeds between one megabit per second (Mbps) and 10 Gigabits per second (Gbits), depending on their needs. At the top rate of 10Gbits the system is capable of transmitting an astonishing 10 billion bits of information per second.

Advances in technology mean the service is available at a fraction of the cost of a comparable one provided previously by a similar, traditional private network.

The BT technology has already gone live in Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Newton Stewart and medium-sized organisations using voice, data, video and other bandwidth-hungry applications across more than one site are the most likely users. The highly flexible system can be easily expanded as a business or organisation grows.

Ethernet is available on an open, wholesale basis to all communications companies providing business services. It is already being used by many mobile phone operators to address the explosive growth in demand for mobile data services across the UK.

Polly Purvis, executive director of ScotlandIS, the trade body for software, IT and creative technology businesses in Scotland, said: “We welcome this further investment of high-speed technology in Dumfries and Galloway and the enhancements it will make to the local communications infrastructure.

“Developments like this are key to enabling local firms and organisations across a wide variety of industry sectors to thrive and grow, as well as helping them to become more efficient in the way they communicate and do business in an increasingly competitive market place.”

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “This is an important advance for Stranraer. We believe high-speed Ethernet will make Dumfries and Galloway even more attractive to potential inward investors and help existing businesses to work and communicate more effectively.

“It will also help public sector organisations run even more efficient networks, saving money and protecting public services.

“Ethernet gives organisations the ability to connect to their sites and customers locally, around the UK and internationally on an extremely secure and reliable network.

“BT is the only company consistently investing in a mixture of faster next generation broadband and Ethernet services both in and outside the region’s major urban areas.”

The expansion of Ethernet is in addition to the £2.5 billion BT roll-out of super-fast optical fibre broadband, expected to reach two-thirds of the UK homes and businesses by the end of 2014.