Jo Swinson MP for East Dunbartonshire is welcoming the £264 million investment into high-speed fibre broadband for Scotland announced today. The announcement will come as a relief to those local residents who have complained about broadband speeds in the past.
The project will be delivered by BT working together with Broadband Delivery UK in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Scottish Government and local authorities. The new project will ensure that 85 per cent of Scottish properties have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2015 and around 95 per cent by the end of 2017. The project is being supported through £157.6million public funding including £50 million from BDUK and BT investment of £106.7million.
Commenting Jo said:
“Funding to improve the broadband network in Scotland is long overdue.
“We’re lucky in East Dunbartonshire to have a relatively high quality of broadband when compared to the rest of Scotland but there are certainly local areas where this is not the case.
“Fibre broadband can open up a whole new high speed world that for so many of us is fundamental to how we live and work.”
UK Government Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said:
“The complex and remote landscape of much of Scotland makes this one of the largest and most challenging projects in the nationwide rollout of superfast broadband. This contract, signed today, marks the beginning of a transformation of broadband services for the population of southern and mid Scotland. Together with the already agreed Highlands and Islands project, it will be instrumental in driving growth and boosting local economies throughout the country, and help achieve the UK Government’s objective of reaching 95% of UK premises by 2017.”
Bill Murphy, BT managing director of Next Generation Access, said:
“Having invested significantly in our own commercial project to build a fibre network covering almost 1.5 million premises in Scotland, we’re incredibly excited to be working in partnership with the Scottish Government and local authorities to extend the technology into those mainly rural and remote parts of Scotland that the market alone could not reach.
“We believe that access to a reliable, high-speed broadband service can shape lives for the better, and so this is an important moment in the evolution of Scotland’s communications story. We’ll create a platform to support Scotland’s economic and social prosperity well into the future. It will stimulate growth in its thriving small business and social enterprise culture, helping the country compete in an increasingly digital world.
“We bring the benefits of economies of scale driving value for money, huge experience in deployment and working in partnership with publicly funded projects, and building open networks which offer internet users an array of choice in service providers and costs.
“Bringing fibre broadband to another 600,000-plus Scottish homes and businesses is a huge civil engineering challenge. We’re looking forward to rolling up our sleeves and starting work straight away to deliver an outstanding, transformational project.”