Extra £32m for superfast broadband in Scotland

Broadband The extra cash for superfast broadband follows more detailed analysis of Scotland's needs

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The UK government is to provide an extra £32m for the delivery of superfast broadband in Scotland.

The funding is on top of nearly £69m allocated for Scotland's broadband network last year.

The government said it had decided to make more money available after undertaking more detailed analysis.

It said working out Scotland's requirements was more challenging than in other parts of the UK, in part because of its geography.

Scotland was allocated an initial £68.8m last August following assessment by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).

Further detailed modelling of Scotland's needs looked more closely at geographical considerations and the limited existing investment in rural areas.

Analysis from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish government was taken into consideration before the decision to provide extra cash was taken, the UK Treasury added.

The latest funding announcement brings the total allocation for Scotland to more than £100m.

Start Quote

Providing Scotland with high-speed broadband is essential for businesses to grow and to create the new jobs we need”

End Quote Michael Moore Scottish Secretary

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said: "Access to superfast broadband means Scottish businesses can expand, develop new markets and compete globally. It also allows local communities to access public services more quickly and efficiently online.

"Providing Scotland with high-speed broadband is essential for businesses to grow and to create the new jobs we need. That is why the UK government believes broadband is essential not only for everyday life, but also for the future economic success of Scotland and the UK."

The UK Treasury said the additional funding would allow many more premises across Scotland to be given superfast connections to the broadband network, including in the Highlands and Islands.

In that area, infrastructure is less developed and the costs of connecting additional premises are much higher than other parts of the UK.

'Super-connected cities'

The UK government has said it wants to deliver the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015, with 90% cent of the UK receiving superfast broadband and everyone else to have access to standard broadband with a speed of at least 2Mbps.

It also plans to invest £150m in 10 "super-connected cities" across the UK, including Edinburgh.

They all successfully bid to become super-connected cities with ultrafast fixed broadband access and large areas of public wireless connectivity.

Ultrafast means speeds as close to 80-100Mbps as is currently possible.

The 10 cities will share £100m of funding, with £50m to be allocated in a second round of bidding.

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