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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-02881: Rhoda Grant (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 20 September 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking through its Better Broadband Scheme to increase the take-up of standard broadband services; how much of the funding that it allocated to the scheme (a) has been spent and (b) remains unspent, and how many applications to it (i) have been approved, broken down by amount awarded to each applicant, (ii) have been rejected, broken down by the reason, and (iii) are pending a decision.

Answered by: Fergus Ewing 4 October 2016

35 applications are currently pending a decision.

Already has Satellite

5

Already connected to fibre

5

Part of CBS project

12

Scheduled to receive Fibre within next 6-12 months

9

Can obtain speeds in excess of 2Mbps

9

The Scottish Government has deemed 40 applications ineligible as these did not meet the criteria set by BDUK. Detailed reasons are set out in the following table:

To date, the Scottish Government has approved 169 voucher applications. These vouchers do not have a specific fixed value but are capped at £350. As financial transactions are undertaken by BDUK, we are unable to confirm the amounts ultimately awarded to each applicant.

The Better Broadband Scheme is a UK Government initiative. Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds the scheme; sets the eligibility criteria for vouchers; and approves suppliers to be part of the voucher scheme. All financial transactions are undertaken by BDUK. The Scottish Government’s role is to process applications in Scotland, assess these against BDUK’s eligibility criteria, and issue voucher codes. The Scottish Government has not allocated any funding to the scheme and is not sighted on how much funding remains available. The UK Government has not allocated a specific amount of funding to Scotland.