Scotland’s Full Fibre Charter consists of a series of pledges to help extend full fibre broadband across Scotland.
One of our more recent signatories to the Charter is Hyperoptic. Founded in 2011, Hyperoptic is a UK-wide full fibre broadband network and service provider. In Scotland, a notable proportion of Hyperoptic’s network provides services to social housing tenants, with over 45,000 social housing connections delivered in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen to date.
Hyperoptic signed up to the Charter in April 2022 along with Borderlink, Cloudnet, Lothian Broadband Group and Virgin Media 02 – joining Axione, CityFibre and Openreach.
Signatories to the Full Fibre Charter commit to accelerating the delivery of full fibre networks to all of Scotland. This means rolling out networks further and faster so that communities can experience the full range of benefits that fibre infrastructure can offer.
Case Study – Connecting Glenavon
Beginning in 2019, Hyperoptic partnered with Maryhill Housing Association on their Glenavon Connectivity Project, providing approximately 360 homes with full fibre connections in three Glasgow multi-storey housing blocks. The project also included organising two years’ free connections for residents, and enabled digital skills building and the piloting of a range of new technologies to improve living conditions, safety, and access to affordable heating. Hyperoptic’s longer-term work with the housing association keeps all residents connected at home and in their Community Hub.
Closing the digital divide
Installing fibre infrastructure into social housing can present a particular challenge due to the nature of the buildings. Like many installations, the Glenavon project required retrofitting fibre into the infrastructure of existing buildings. As every building is different, Hyperoptic’s installation had to adapt to the specific challenges of each – while minimising disruption for local residents.
With the fibre successfully installed, Hyperoptic remains actively involved. To boost digital inclusion for residents, they provide a free connection to the Community Hub, supporting local initiatives alongside individual tenants.
More recently, Hyperoptic structured a discounted service package for the housing association, enabling them to provide all Glenavon residents with a basic broadband subscription free-of-charge, giving access to vital online services. This year it has been enhanced by offering social tariffs to all residents, waiving eligibility requirements.
As well as the connectivity benefits for residents, Hyperoptic’s new network also enabled the installation of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to allow the association to monitor CO2 levels and humidity, as well as the position of fire doors in the buildings. This in turn helped to support a project piloting alternative heating solutions, aiming to ease fuel poverty.
James Fredrickson, Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Hyperoptic said:
“We are very pleased to be providing Scotland’s social housing with the gold standard of broadband connectivity, given the necessity of digital infrastructure and skills. Working with the Scottish Government through the Charter supports both industry and government to close the digital divide by improving access to all the benefits of being online.”
Hyperoptic’s continued activity in social housing supports Scotland’s Full Fibre Charter by taking fibre further and increasing coverage faster by installing networks into every kind of home – from tower blocks to tenements. The Glenavon project illustrates both the innovative uses for full fibre and the longer-term day-to-day support that carries on under the surface, and provides lessons about the potential to embed the IoT solutions of the future into existing buildings. In this way, Glenavon demonstrates how full fibre broadband can deliver a wide range of benefits for Scotland’s communities.
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