21st February 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Broadband funding boost

5 comments, , by , in Headlines, News

Almost £18 million is being made available by BT to accelerate high speed broadband in Scotland’s rural communities, though it is unclear how much of that money will come to Shetland.

The Scottish government said the benefit comes from the success of the government-backed £410 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, which has reached 365,000 homes and businesses from Shetland to Dumfries and Galloway.

The programme pulls together public and BT funding to provide fibre broadband to areas “that would not be reached by commercial investment alone”.

The government said  it will result in 85 per cent of premises in Scotland with access to high-speed fibre broadband by the end of March 2016 and 95 per cent 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 on track to exceed.”

Deputy first minister John Swinney this week said the government was working with BT to ensure investment in the DSSB programme extended coverage as far as possible, while at the same time getting clarity on which areas would not be reached.

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

Community Broadband Scotland is a partnership between the Scottish government, Highlands and Islands and Enterprise, and various others to help communities unlikely to be reached by the DSSB roll-out.

HIE’s director of digital, Stuart Robertson said: “Superfast broadband is now available to more than 60 additional rural towns and villages in the Highlands and Islands.

“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.”

Following the news Isles MSP Tavish Scott said he wanted more coverage for Shetland. “Any new money for superfast broadband must be targeted at those areas where the service hardly exists,” he said.

“There are a number of areas across Shetland such as the north isles where there is no date yet from the Scottish government for any investment. People will expect an immediate indication of which areas will now see an upgrade to their service and that would be very welcome.”

HIE said it did not know yet how much of the extra money Shetland would be receiving and was awaiting more information from BT.

BT said the issue was still to be discussed.

About Adam Guest

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as a senior news reporter at The Press and Journal, The Barnsley Chronicle and as a freelance reporter for The Doncaster Free Press. Alongside news reporting I specialise in music and sports journalism. Pork pie lover.

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5 comments

  1. John Tulloch

    Tavish Scott is 100 percent right with this. Look at the entrepreneurial flair in Unst, the Scottish government should be helping them and a decent broadband service would be of major practical benefit.

    If we’re serious about stemming depopulation, that is?

    Reply
  2. Robin Stevenson

    Don’t you just love the way Tavish jumps on the SNP Scottish Governments bandwagon? This £18 Million has been made available by the Scottish Government, so do we hear a “well done”, from Tavish?….Nope…Instead we hear about where, when, who and why,…….Perhaps if Mr Scott was a little more gracious and commend the SG rather than this continuous sniping his party may not be heading for extinction?

    Reply
  3. Gordon Harmer

    “Almost £18 million is being made available by BT ( where does it say £18 million from the SG Robin ) to accelerate high speed broadband in Scotland’s rural communities, though it is unclear how much of that money will come to Shetland”. Of course Tavish should snipe at the Scottish government when “there are a number of areas across Shetland such as the north isles where there is no date yet from the Scottish government for any investment. People will expect an immediate indication of which areas will now see an upgrade to their service and that would be very welcome.” Its OK for Robin sitting down there in his Glasgow ivory tower doing his spin doctor act for the Scottish government with his super fast broadband. He should try sitting up here in Brae with speeds that are slower than dial up and closer to wind up broadband speeds.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Gordon

      It’s not being made available “By” BT, it’s being made available “For” BT.

      “The early benefit comes from the success of the Scottish Government-backed £410million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme, which has now reached over 365,000 homes and businesses from the Shetland Isles to Dumfries and Galloway”.

      As ever, while Tavish talks about it, the Scottish Government are just getting on with it. 🙂

      http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/-18million-broadband-boost-1bde.aspx

      Reply
    • James Watt

      “Almost £18 million is being made available by BT ( where does it say £18 million from the SG Robin ) to accelerate high speed broadband in Scotland’s rural communities, though it is unclear how much of that money will come to Shetland”

      Just for the sake of clarity, the money isn’t coming from BT but is being refunded by BT after they received public funding to rollout broadband to areas that weren’t commercially viable, £18 million is Scotland’s share of the total refund.

      http://www.computerweekly.com/news/4500250778/BT-refunds-129m-public-funding-on-reaching-broadband-targets

      As for how much of the money might come to Shetland, well I doubt the SNP would spend much on an area they have little chance of gaining a seat from but you never know.

      http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/scotland/remote-communities-targeted-in-superfast-broadband-rollout-1.894421

      Reply

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