In case you missed it, Scottish Rural Action published a report on rural broadband in August 2016 which was widely acclaimed.
Download the report here: SRA Broadband Report 2016
“The Scottish Government welcomes the Broadband Report produced by Scottish Rural Action and will look to build on the constructive conversations that took place during the recent Scottish Rural Parliament in Brechin. The Scottish Government is committed to extending superfast broadband access to every premise in Scotland by 2021 and will launch new procurement activity later this year to deliver new public investment in Scotland’s digital infrastructure. We will consult on an Intervention Area for this new programme in the coming weeks.
Aside from extending access to superfast broadband, the programme will aim to enhance backhaul capacity in rural Scotland and ensure that any new infrastructure is future-proofed and easily accessible for as many users as possible, whether Internet Service Providers, Mobile Network Operators or community projects.
The prospect of new larger scale procurements has implications for some of our other initiatives, notably Community Broadband Scotland. CBS has played a valuable role in recent years, working with communities across Scotland and funding a number of successful community-led broadband projects. The CBS approach is likely to evolve in the months ahead; to refocus on delivering tailored support to communities who want to run their own networks. A key part of this will be determining opportunities for community networks to collaborate and generate economies of scale that enhance their sustainability.
We are keen to continue engagement with Scottish Rural Action on the issues outlined in the report and to seek input from a range of interests as our delivery approach takes shape. A broadband conference later in the year would provide a real opportunity to test some of these principles and review progress to date.”
Head of Digital Connectivity Policy