More ‘ambition’ required on broadband services

Businesses and individuals in rural areas will suffer if the Scottish government fails to show greater ambition in developing broadband services, according to a committee of MSPs today.

A report by the infrastructure and capital investment committee welcomes the positive steps taken so far but warns more needs to be done.

The government has pleged to help provide broadband speeds of 40-80Mbps for 85-90 per cent of premises in Scotland by 2015 and the best possible speeds where that cannot be achieved.

Committee convener Maureen Watt said: “The ability to access fast broadband connections is becoming more and more important in all aspects of our lives.  

“A reliable and fast broadband connection helps socially but it is especially crucial in enabling businesses to be able to compete on the world stage. High quality digital infrastructure in Scotland is essential and our committee welcomes the Scottish government’s commitment to delivering this.

“We received evidence from a wide range of individuals, communities and businesses concerned about unreliable and slow internet connections. These issues were shown to have a particularly detrimental effect on small and medium sized businesses outside the main urban centres of Scotland.

“To ensure that Scotland has the broadband services it needs, ambitious targets for the roll out of broadband infrastructure are needed, with a target of delivering a world class broadband infrastructure to 100 per cent of Scotland’s population by 2020.”


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