BT Scotland story

Introduction

BT is at the heart of Scotland, providing modern communications for the nation and meeting Scotland’s demand for IT infrastructure and services.

We’re investing hundreds of millions of pounds in high-speed broadband, while continuing to deliver in traditional and new areas of service, like telephony, wi-fi and TV.

More than two million Scots can now connect to our fibre broadband network while we provide ultra-fast services for businesses at speeds of up to 10 Gigabits per second.

We believe our networks, services and expertise in exploiting ICT can help Scotland PLC to be productive, innovate and prosper in a global economy.

BT Scotland was created in 1998 in response to Scottish devolution. Our people work and live in every part of Scotland and we have major centres in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Alness and Thurso.

We help customers make the most of the convergence of networks and services, mobile and fixed products, media and communications.

Our infrastructure is also a strength behind many other companies which provide telephony and internet services in Scotland, helping the nation to be part of the most competitive broadband market in the world.

Download our BT Scotland infographic about our impact in Scotland 

Download our BT Scotland Manifesto 

BT impact in Scotland

  • BT and EE contribute £1.08 billion in Gross Value Add to the Scottish economy.
  • We have around 7,400 employees and in total support 12,600 Scottish jobs.
  • BT and EE employ 1 in every 7 employees working in the IT and communications sectors.
  • BT and EE’s full employment impact is larger than Scotland´s insurance sector.
  • We spent £171 million with local suppliers in 2015/16.
  • We invest around £1 million annually in sustainable and responsible business activities in Scotland, which also share in wider UK activities funded at c. £13 million.
  • BT volunteers in Scotland spend more than 3,330 days a year supporting charities and community groups. The 24,190 hours of volunteering is estimated to be worth more than £1 million annually.
  • We have around 950,000 customers across BT Consumer and BT Business, including the SME market. And BT Global Services works with hundreds of large corporate and public sector customers based in Scotland .

Keeping Scotland connected

  • Scotland’s rugged terrain and disparate population present unique communications challenges. The land mass covers 30,414 square miles, with the Highlands & Islands alone accounting for an area the size of Belgium. There are 790 islands, about 10 per cent inhabited.
  • BT provides Scotland’s only national communications network, stretching from the most remote inhabited islands to the rural lowlands – from Shetland to Stranraer and everywhere in between.
  • Scotland has 1,070 telephone exchanges, including 400 of the smallest in the UK, serving a population of five million.
  • Every Scottish exchange is connected to first generation broadband, save 21 in the Western Isles served by a public wireless broadband project.
  • 378 of the smallest exchanges, serving 51,000 households and 5400 businesses, were enabled for first generation broadband in partnership with the Scottish Government.
  • According to the independent Think Broadband website, more than 90 per cent of Scottish premises are now able to connect to fibre broadband.
  • EE is extending its 4G UK network to reach 95 per cent geographic coverage by 2020. Five new 4G sites were switched on in the Orkney Islands recently, in addition to sites on the Shetland Isles and on Coll, the latter bringing EE’s superfast 4G mobile services to the island’s businesses and residents for the first time . 

High-speed broadband

  • BT has announced plans to bring fibre broadband past around 1.4 million Scottish homes and businesses as part of its commercial investment programme.
  • Fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) currently makes available wholesale download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps. Even faster fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) offers a variety of download speeds with the current top wholesale speed being 330Mbps. Speeds offered by service providers may vary.
  • The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnership will make fibre broadband available to more than 750,000 Scottish premises which would not have benefited from commercial upgrades. BT is investing £126m in the Digital Scotland rollout, in addition to its commercial deployment of fibre in Scotland.
  • The £410m Digital Scotland rollout consists of two projects – one covering the Highlands and Islands area and the other covering the rest of Scotland. Funding partners include the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund as well as BT.
  • In the Highlands & Islands, engineers from our local network division Openreach are delivering the UK’s most complex and challenging broadband project ever. The £146m rollout is led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
  • As BT has achieved efficiencies in the current contract and is returning ‘gainshare’ funding early after strong take-up, an additional 6,000 premises will be reached by the project in 2017, taking total access to the fibre network in the region, including commercial roll-out, to around 86 per cent.
  • The £264m infrastructure project for the rest of Scotland was unveiled in July 2013 by Scotland’s then Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who described it as one of the most ambitious in the whole of Europe.
  • Coupled with commercial investment plans, the Digital Scotland rollout is on track to reach around 95 per cent of Scottish premises by the end of the current contract.
  • More than two million Scottish premises are now able to connect to fibre broadband services on the Openreach network using the service provider of their choice, including more than 660,000 homes and business premises reached by the Digital Scotland partnership rollout to date.
  • Scotland’s larger organisations also have access to our unrivalled international connectivity and ultrafast Ethernet services at a range of speeds up to 10 Gigabits per second, available across the country.
  • We’re investigating alternative solutions for premises that cannot currently be served by fibre broadband due to network topography, economics of deployment and other technical reasons. Our Community Fibre Partnership scheme works with communities using a co-funded model.
  • Trials are under way on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides to test new technology – Long Reach VDSL - to increase the speed of fibre broadband over long phone lines.
  • We’ve also upgraded Scottish exchanges serving nearly 1.8 million homes and businesses to offer faster broadband over copper lines at speeds of up to 20Mbps.
  • Openreach is testing ultrafast services using new G.Fast technology. We plan to deliver new, ultrafast services of 300-500Mbps to reach 10m UK homes and smaller businesses by the end of 2020, and most UK premises within a decade. A 1Gbps service will be provided for those that want even faster speeds.
  • Openreach’s G.fast pilot is being extended to Glasgow Langside and Edinburgh Donaldson exchange areas .  

Recruitment

  • In 15/16 Openreach recruited around 260 new engineers across Scotland, and we’ve recruited around 180 more frontline engineers during 2016/17. We’ve also been recruiting in our Scottish contact centres – including around 50 posts in Glasgow – as part of our plans to boost customer service.
  • We’re recruiting around 135 new apprentices across Scotland during 2016/17 and currently have 146 apprentices in training.
  • BT also continues to recruit new graduates in Scotland. Our Software Development Centre in Glasgow – one of only five BT global sites – provides some great opportunities.
  • Further information about customer service apprenticeships and how to apply is available at: http://www.bt.com/apprentices while current vacancies are available in our Career Centre.

Wi-fi

  • Scotland’s BT Wi-fi network is at an all-time high, with a network of more than half a million wi-fi hotspots across the nation. Find your nearest one online
  • BT is working with Glasgow City Council to deliver public wi-fi infrastructure after the local authority became the first Scottish city to award a wireless concession. Free public wi-fi internet access is now available in the city’s streets and public spaces. As part of the project, more than 30 community centres and public halls operated by Glasgow Life also offer free wi-fi during opening hours.
  • BT Scotland has been working with Glasgow Housing Association (The Wheatley Group) and the Scottish Government to run a pilot to evaluate the impact of providing free wi-fi and digital skills training to hundreds of GHA tenants in high rise flats in Knightswood. Affordable wi-fi access was deployed to 138 family homes in one of GHA’s multi-storey properties at Kirkton Avenue. As a result of the pilot, two thirds of tenants in the block are seeking employment online, with four per cent finding work in the first six months of the study. One third of tenants also saved money, with 65 per cent saving more than £100. The pilot project was so successful that Wheatley Group won the ICT Connect Award 2014 – Connecting Citizens.   

Scottish Rugby and BT Murrayfield

BT is a major supporter of Scottish Rugby.

A transformational, multi-million pound sponsorship deal announced in May 2014 includes naming rights for the national stadium, BT Murrayfield, and sponsorship of the Scotland 7s, the domestic league and cup competitions.

In April 2015 it was announced that BT will become shirt sponsor for all Scotland national teams including the senior men’s and women’s teams. BT Sport is also shirt sponsor for Scotland's two professional clubs, Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors.

Our funding is helping Scottish Rugby to launch four BT Sport Academies around the country to nurture the future stars of the game. Each year will see a £1.2million investment to create, resource and operate the academies which are open to the best young male and female talent, eventually from the age of 14 onward. The Academies will also develop coaches and help bridge the gap between the club and professional game.

Scottish Rugby has also set up a Club Sustainability Fund, worth £1.6m over four years, on the back of its partnership with BT Sport. Grants will help clubs improve their facilities and clubs around the country are already benefiting.

Our close relationship with Scottish Rugby reflects our wider investment to put rugby at the heart of BT Sport, including exclusive coverage from the Aviva Premiership.  

BT Global Services in Scotland

Devolution has presented many opportunities to develop relationships with the public sector. BT Global Services is winning business with genuine partnerships based on flexible models, which deliver innovation and efficiency savings.

Streamlining public sector ICT in Scotland could offer potential savings of more than £30 million on existing telephony and data costs and more than £100 million on the wider ICT spend.

Agile working has the potential to make savings of £3.2 billion in the public sector in Scotland if adopted by 40 per cent of the workforce. Other benefits include increased productivity and motivation; reduced sick leave; better work-life balance; enhanced recruitment and retention.

There is also potential to reap reduced travel costs and environmental benefits through effective use of technology including audio and video conferencing and avoidance of travel at peak pollution times.

BT Global Services is also the partner of choice for some of Scotland’s biggest businesses, including Royal Bank of Scotland and National Australia Group, which owns The Clydesdale Banking Group.

Examples of BT working with the public sector in Scotland include:

Disclosure Scotland, promoting safe recruitment through the disclosure of criminal history information. The partnership was launched in April 2002 and has delivered more than 2.5 million disclosures to date.

  • Disclosure Scotland, promoting safe recruitment through the disclosure of criminal history information. The partnership was launched in April 2002 and has delivered more than eight million disclosures.
  • NHS24 – a long-term ICT partnership giving people in Scotland access to a confidential, nurse-led telephone service around the clock.
  • NHS Scotland – A five year partnership with BT providing a single phone network for the NHS in Scotland, saving £4 million a year. It’s the first fully integrated public sector voice network of its scale in Scotland.
  • Scottish Water – a 10-year programme integrating Scottish Water’s entire communications infrastructure to reduce IT costs and deliver improved services.

BT and Scottish business

BT Business is passionate about helping businesses of all sizes succeed. From big household names and public service organisations right through to small businesses and new start-ups, it helps organisations use the power of technology to grow, compete and thrive.

It has around 900,000 UK customers, ranging from sole traders through to larger, more complex organisations like schools and colleges, and serves more than half of FTSE350 companies. The majority of its UK customers are small and medium-sized businesses.

Led by CEO Graham Sutherland, a Scot born in Inverness and an accountancy graduate of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, BT Business is focused primarily on fixed-voice and data, mobility, and IT services. It carries more than £3bn of revenues.

In Scotland, BT Business provides services for around 70,000 businesses, mostly SMEs, and employs around 1,100 people with around 415 of these posts in Dundee, 400 in Glasgow, 190 in Alness, 50 in Edinburgh and the remainder around the country.

As well as its work with the business community, BT Business plays a critical role in society by managing the UK’s 999 service, with its lead site in Glasgow and a sister 999 contact centre in Dundee answering seven million 999 calls a year.

It also keeps many corporate fleets on the road across Scotland. As well as looking after BT’s own company vehicles in Scotland, BT Fleet (part of BT Business) also maintains vehicles for a wide range of customers including G4S, Post Office Ltd, AA, National Grid and Network Rail from its network of garages and workshops around Scotland.

BT Business is led in Scotland by Alan Lees, who has responsibility for BT’s largest SME customers in Scotland and increasing BT’s profile in the Scottish corporate market.

Alan says: “BT can do things for its customers that very few others can do. Our presence is second to none. We are an international business with global networks and this connectivity helps to underpin the success of Scotland PLC.

“Many of our customers are Scottish based but operate internationally. We provide them with seamless networks, mobility and IT services which help them to innovate and prosper, in turn supporting the Scottish economy and Scottish jobs.

“With more than 1,000 employees in Scotland focused on the business market, we are also in Rothesay, Falkirk, Glasgow and anywhere else our customers want to go.

“Our technical expertise is critical – we can facilitate change for companies to embrace new technologies and help with cost transformation. We don’t just bring technology to businesses, but also the know-how to use it.”

Visit the BT Business website

BT Local Business is a network of independent local businesses that are licensed to sell BT products and services. There are three BT Local Businesses in Scotland, which provide communications advice and solutions to thousands of small businesses.

The BT Local Businesses cover the whole of Scotland from offices in Aberdeen, Livingston and Glasgow. They employ around 50 people and all three have plans to expand during 2015/16.

Jim Ogston manages the Aberdeen operation, which he started up eight years ago. It covers a vast swathe of the country, from the Highlands and Islands down to Fife.

He explains: “We help businesses of all sizes, from start-ups needing a phone line and broadband to large multi-nationals. Every customer is equally important to us and gets the same level of service.

“We understand the challenges of running a local business because we’re doing it. The fact that we’re also working in partnership with BT means our customers get the best of both worlds. We offer unique insight and experience, as well as the technology that can help them to maximise any opportunities to compete and grow their business.

“BT has invested heavily in high-speed communication networks in Aberdeen, which means we can provide local firms with excellent coverage and cost-effective access options. We can help connect people at one site or link multiple sites, whether they’re in the UK or abroad.”

To learn more about how BTLB can help your business thrive, visit the website.

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