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Scottish Government announces broadband boost

10/01/20

Mark Say Managing Editor

The Scottish Government has promised to deliver fibre-to-premise broadband connectivity to much of the southern and central regions of the country.

Paul Wheelhouse

Minister for Connectivity Paul Wheelhouse (pictured) made the pledge as new element into the Reaching 100% (R100) programme, saying it will go beyond the initial aims.

As a result of the move, many premises are expected to receive connections of 100Mbps compared with an earlier target of 30Mbps.

Wheelhouse said that all of southern Scotland and the vast majority of the central region will obtain fibre-to-premises, even though the topography will make it “one of the most challenging broadband infrastructure builds anywhere in Europe”.

He said the majority of the build should be completed by the end of 2023. The Scottish Government has contracts with BT for the delivery of the networks in the two regions.

It is also providing funds for a voucher scheme for consumers and businesses to obtain superfast broadband connections through a range of technologies and suppliers.

Backhaul for mobile

“The fibre we deliver through the R100 programme will also help improve Scotland’s mobile connectivity, providing the backhaul needed to support the growth of 4G and 5G services, benefiting the development of Scotland’s 5G centre and strategy,” Wheelhouse said.

“It will enable the movement of data across Scotland, supporting the growth of data driven industries and technologies like digital health delivery and the internet of things – or IoT – where Scotland is already a leader.

“And it will support our ambition to establish Scotland as a green data hosting location.”

He added that it has not yet been possible to announce the contract for the northern region due to a legal challenge.

Image from gov.scot, Open Government Licence

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