A new wireless broadband scheme aims to supply ‘lightning-fast’ internet speeds to Edinburgh’s Old and New Town areas – without digging up any streets.
The first pilot of its kind in the UK, the wireless gigabit broadband service will be piloted in Edinburgh, bringing fast internet speeds to the Old and New Towns without the need to dig up streets in the World Heritage Site.
Telecoms provider WeLink Communications UK has invited local households and businesses to sign up as case studies for the pilot programme.
Commenting on the scheme, Natalie Duffield, CEO of IntechnologySmartCities, said: “We are really excited to be piloting our lightning-fast technology in the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh where many premises struggle to access decent and affordable broadband.
“Given the growing importance of connectivity in this day and age, communities cannot afford to be left behind. Our wireless technology puts people into the broadband fast lane.”
As part of the WeLink pilot, users will be able to stream HD content without pausing or buffering, download and upload large files in seconds and use multiple connected devices at the same time.
Data collected by Ofcom last year indicated that more than 1,300 premises in the City of Edinburgh are unable to receive broadband of more than 10mbps.
Across Scotland, 34,242 homes fall below the Broadband Universal Service Obligation, whilst just 81% of Scottish premises are covered by a mobile network as of the end of 2020. This leaves almost a fifth of the country without access to a strong and stable connection.
In terms of network overlap, 10,648 premises in Scotland are not covered by any network at all.
However, gains have been made to get Scotland up to speed. In early July, it was announced that more than 950,000 households and businesses across the country were reached by the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband rollout.
The infrastructure build, which began in 2014, “exceeded expectations,” with 150,000 premises more than planned connected, providing a digital platform across rural Scotland to support access to vital e-services.
- Five Scottish IoT cybersecurity projects to watch
- Pioneering Heriot Watt research project to gather untapped bridge energy
- Scottish Chamber Orchestra & Pulsant keep the music alive online
In June, a boost in funding aimed to deliver better broadband services to Scottish homes.
Around 400,000 more homes and businesses are set to benefit from the £160-million broadband infrastructure investment.
People living and working in an additional 48 urban areas, including Dunfermline, Falkirk, Ibrox, Govan, Bridge of Weir, Paisley and Livingston, will see increased connectivity through the national upgrade plan.
Households and businesses from Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns have been asked to sign up for the scheme, where the first five suitable applicants will be selected.
WeLink says that the tech is being piloted ahead of a planned deployment in support of the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme.