The Scottish Government has announced two schemes to improve internet access for low income households and hard to reach locations respectively.
As part of its Connecting Scotland programme, the government will spend £15 million to help 23,000 low income households get online, particularly families with children and young people leaving care. Households will get a device, 12 months internet access with no data limits, technical support and six months’ advice from a digital champion who can provide training and support by phone.
This follows a first phase which committed £5 million to getting 9,000 digitally excluded people online in response to the coronavirus pandemic, announced in May. The programme is delivered with local authorities, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and other organisations.
“It has never been more important to be connected and online,” said communities secretary Aileen Campbell. “I am therefore very pleased to be able to extend our Connecting Scotland programme and tackle the digital divide by reaching over 30,000 households across both phases that are experiencing difficulties with online access.”
The government also provided details of the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme. This will provide funding of up to £5,000 to homes and businesses outside the scope of the government’s Reaching 100% (R100) superfast broadband contracts and commercial investments.
The R100 programme aims to provide superfast broadband running at 30 Mbps to everyone in Scotland, with many premises getting access to connections of 100 Mbps. The Scottish Government has contracted with BT to build fibre-to-premises networks across southern and central Scotland.
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