Additional £15.6m to be invested back into superfast broadband
An additional £15.6m will be invested back into Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, due to higher than expected take-up of the programme
Telephone box Oykel Bridge, Lairg, Sutherland - Image credit: Phillip Capper via Wikimedia Commons
An additional £15.6m will be invested back into Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, due to higher than expected take-up of the programme so far.
Some parts of Scotland are already approaching full coverage, for example, Aberdeen currently has 94.9 per cent coverage, but rural areas of the country tend to have lower coverage, with an Audit Scotland report last year highlighting that some of the most challenging areas to link up remain to receive coverage.
In his speech to the SNP conference in Aberdeen, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay reiterated the Scottish Government’s commitment to 100 per cent superfast broadband coverage by 2020.
The extra funds will be targeted on the areas with the lowest coverage speeds at present, which include Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dumfries and Galloway, Perth and Kinross, the Scottish Borders and Stirling.
Mackay said: “I am delighted that thanks to the higher than expected uptake of our Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme more premises than originally planned will now have the opportunity to benefit from investment in reliable and speedy broadband services.
“The increase in broadband access shows clearly the difference this government is making to people, communities and businesses, supporting jobs and livelihoods in the north east of Scotland.
“This additional funding will benefit local authorities across the country, but will be focused on those areas that need it most including Aberdeenshire, Angus, and Perthshire as well as Stirling, Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.
“Work is already underway and by December 2018 every local authority across the project area will enjoy at least 85 per cent superfast broadband coverage with users able to experience speeds of above 24Mbps as part of our commitment to deliver 100 per cent superfast broadband by 2020.
“We are already looking at how we reach further and ultimately ensure we get superfast speeds to all.
“This will include extending the programme to new areas, as well as identifying new solutions for parts of the network that are currently unable to access superfast speeds.”
The Scottish Government is on track to meet its commitment to 95 per cent broadband coverage by the end of 2017
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