New ultrafast broadband network is launched in Edinburgh

Edinburgh and Glasgow internet users will benefit from the new Gfast service. Picture: John Devlin
Edinburgh and Glasgow internet users will benefit from the new Gfast service. Picture: John Devlin
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A NEW ultrafast broadband, known as Gfast, is now available to tens of thousands of people in Edinburgh, BT’s Openreach has announced.

Along with Glasgow, the Capital is among the first locations in the UK to pilot the Gfast technology which will offer download speeds up to 330Mbs - about seven times the current UK average.

Users of Gfast can expect to download a two-hour HD movie in just 90 seconds, a 45-minute HD TV show in 16 seconds and a nine-hour audio book in a super-quick 3 seconds.

Openreach has so far made the technology available to more than 390,000 homes and businesses ahead of a nationwide rollout, which will see ultrafast broadband reaching 12 million UK premises by 2020.

The districts in Edinburgh which will now benefit are: City Centre, Corstorphine, Murrayfield, Forth, Fountainbridge, Craiglockhart, Inverleith, Leith Walk, Morningside, Sighthill, Gorgie, Newington and Almond.

Andrew Hepburn, Openreach’s infrastructure delivery director in Scotland, said: “It’s great news that Glasgow and Edinburgh are playing a leading role in the development of this exciting new technology. Gfast will help transform the broadband picture in the UK by ushering in a new era where ultrafast speeds are widely available.

“The amount people are doing online and at the same time, from streaming high definition movies, TV, gaming and online shopping to using mobile devices over wireless broadband, is growing every year and this pace shows no sign of slowing. We need to stay ahead in order to meet the evolving needs of our customers. Gfast will allow us to do that by building on the investment we have made in fibre to date. It will transform the UK broadband landscape from superfast to ultrafast, and it will reach the largest number of people in the quickest possible time.”

He added: “Pilot schemes, such as the ones in Glasgow and Edinburgh, are important for us to fully test the new network in a number of different situations before it reaches millions of homes and businesses across the UK. The areas we’ve chosen are carefully selected based on a variety of factors, including engineering considerations and the need to test the technology for a range of communities.

“We’d encourage anybody in one of the pilot areas to take part. You can check if you’re eligible with the Openreach fibre checker by entering your postcode or telephone number.”

Anybody wanting more information or wishing to check if they can get Gfast should visit www.openreach.co.uk/ultrafast