Rural Scotland gets £18m superfast broadband rollout boost

Rural Scotland Gets £18m Superfast Broadband Rollout Boost

14th August 2015

by Shannon Greenhalgh

An extra 18 million is being added to the superfast funding pot in Scotland thanks to BT, Computer Weekly reports. The cash will be invested in extending superfast broadband coverage across rural areas in the country, and will be added to the existing 410 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme. Scotland’s broadband boost is a result of BT giving back 129 million of money it received from local authorities. The refund is part of a claw-back mechanism written into BT’s contracts with Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK). The clause stipulates that the telecoms firm will reinvest cash back into the fibre broadband rollout if take-up of the service reaches an agreed level of 20%.

Stuart Robertson, director of digital at Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), a key actor in Scotland’s rollout programme, said: “We’re delighted people have been quick to embrace the benefits.

It’s great news that take-up in our first communities is directly helping us to bring better broadband to even more people.”

Deputy first minister John Swinney commented: “We are working with BT to ensure that our investment in the DSSB programme extends coverage as far as possible; while, at the same time, getting clarity on which areas won’t be reached.

This will allow these communities to work with Community Broadband Scotland to explore alternative solutions in parallel with DSSB roll-out.”

He added: “We are now seeing huge strides forward in transforming the future of connectivity for Scotland’s rural communities and businesses, many of which would never have seen these kinds of connections through the commercial market.”