Holyrood to speed up broadband rollout

THE Scottish Government says almost £18m funding is being made available to “accelerate high-speed broadband roll-out for Scotland’s rural communities”.
Holyrood describes the news as an early benefit resulting from the success of the £410m Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, which has now reached more than 365,000 homes and businesses across the country.
The current programme involves both public and BT funding to extend broadband to areas that would not be reached by commercial investment alone. The Scottish Government says it will mean 85% of premises in Scotland have access to high-speed fibre broadband by the end of March 2016 and 95% by the end of 2017.
The contract between the Scottish Government, BT and Highlands and Islands Enterprise included a “gain share” clause to claw back funding if the project reached agreed take-up levels, which it is said to be on track to exceed.
Deputy first minister John Swinney said: “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.”