Hundreds of thousands of households and businesses across Scotland are set to reap the rewards of high-speed fibre broadband thanks to a £264 million investment announced today by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The project will be delivered by BT, which is investing £106.7m in the partnership, and is being led by the Scottish Government working together with local authorities and Broadband Delivery UK in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Together with a £146 million partnership announced earlier this year to bring faster broadband to the Highlands and Islands and commercial investment plans by the private sector, the new project will ensure that 85 per cent of Scottish properties have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2015 and around 95 per cent by the end of 2017.
Initial priority will be given to rural small and medium sized businesses to encourage economic growth in hard to reach areas.
Speaking during a visit to a BT exchange building in Pitt Street, Glasgow, where the contract for the project was signed with BT, Ms Sturgeon said:
“Today's announcement signals the start of one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in the whole of Europe. It will connect communities across rural and urban areas, providing a platform for future economic development and regeneration.
"Next generation broadband enables businesses to compete on the international stage. It has the potential to transform the way in which we educate our children, provide health and social care and deliver our public services. It provides Scotland with a platform upon which we can build and sustain a world class digital country.
“Using the Scottish model of procurement, we have worked with local authorities, CoSLA, BDUK and BT to agree this contract and will continue to work in partnership to deliver real benefits to local people and businesses. Both national and local government recognise that digital connectivity is vital to future economic prosperity and the success of our partnership is testament to our shared ambition to ensure that Scottish business and communities realise the benefits of the digital age.”
For more information visit: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Scotland-gets-digitally-connected-241.aspx