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Fibre is music to the ears of online school

Little girl playing piano

High-speed fibre broadband in remote Scottish islands is striking a chord with musicians around the world.

Your Space Music Lessons is a specialised online music school offering live 1-2-1 music tuition with experienced and qualified music teachers around the UK. It is one of the businesses benefiting from the rollout of fibre broadband to Scotland’s most westerly island group, the Outer Hebrides. It provides online lessons to students in the UK, US, Canada, Belgium, France, Iraq, Oman and Russia.

To learn an instrument, all they need is a laptop or large-screen tablet. And broadband speeds of at least 1.5Mbps upload and download.

Music teacher and islander Olwen MacLeod launched the online school in 2014, initially using satellite broadband. Students can learn to play a variety of musical instruments, including piano, saxophone and even bagpipes.

He says reduced cost of fibre compared to satellite services will benefit the school.

“Taking lessons online is a fantastic way to combat rural isolation from mainstream music services,” says Olwen. “We knew fibre broadband was coming, so we set up a teaching platform ready for it. Now it’s here and we already have more than 200 pupils and a 14-strong music teaching team.

“The reduced cost of fibre compared to satellite services will benefit the school and allow us to develop our plans to promote tuition across isolated regions of Scotland and around the world.”

The rollout is part of Digital Scotland’s £146m fibre broadband investment, led by the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) development agency in partnership with us. Fibre broadband now offers fast and reliable broadband connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps in the region.

Robert Thorburn (regional manager Scotland, BT) says that the benefits to businesses in Scotland from superfast fibre are huge. The new, faster speeds are available to more than 92 per cent of households and businesses in Scotland already.