Date lodged: 14 July 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what (a) plans and (b) funding programmes are in place to prioritise rural and remote areas not already included in the current phase of its Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband rollout.
Answered by: Fergus Ewing 1 August 2016
The Scottish Government and our partners are delivering a number of national broadband projects that will benefit rural and remote areas.
The £410m Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) Programme will extend fibre broadband access to at least 95% of premises in Scotland by the end of 2017. In parallel, Community Broadband Scotland is a £16.5m initiative supporting community-led broadband projects across rural Scotland. The Scottish Government is committed to building on the success of these programmes and achieving 100% superfast broadband coverage by 2021.
The importance of digital infrastructure to regional economies is recognised in city deals. Digital infrastructure projects form part of the Aberdeen and the Inverness City Region Deals which were agreed between the Scottish Government, UK Government and regional partners earlier this year. Digital infrastructure investment also forms part of the additional £254 million investment, over and above the City Deal, committed by the Scottish Government to help deliver a more significant step change to the economy of Aberdeen and the north east.