Laura Sharman 09 July 2013

High speed broadband to be rolled out across Scotland

A £264m project to deliver high speed broadband across Scotland has been announced as part of a drive to transform digitally disadvantaged areas.

The investment, from the Scottish Local Government, the Scottish Government and the UK Government’s Broadband Delivery UK task force, will help reduce the digital divide in terms of broadband speeds between urban and rural areas.

The investment also includes significant European Union investment through the European Regional Development Fund to prioritise the roll out of broadband services to rural small and medium sized business to encourage them to access new markets and further stimulate sustainable economic growth in Scotland.

High speed broadband High speed broadband will be rolled out across Scotland.

David O’Neill, president of COSLA, said: ‘The contract outcomes will promote local economic development through greater digital access to markets, enable communities to access vital services remotely rather than needing to travel and as a result reduce their impact on the environment.

‘The partnership approach to this project with the Scottish Government and BDUK has provided the best value contract for the public purse, delivered national outcomes whilst being responsive to local needs, allowing all councils involved, where technically feasible to secure at least three-quarters coverage of enhanced broadband services for their local communities and in some cases significantly more through additional funding.’

The project will be delivered by BT and is in addition to the £146m investment announced early this year for the Highlands and Islands area.

Last week, the National Audit Office warned that the Government's plans for superfast broadband across the UK could be delivered two years behind schedule.

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