Broadband not-spots are not necessarily confined to rural areas, and some people in Scottish cities may find they cannot get broadband just as those in the Highlands. In December 2006 there was an announcement of £5 million of funding to try and eliminate the not-spots in Scotland. Moving forward to the present time, the Scottish Government is now at the stage of procuring a solution that will bring an affordable, basic broadband service to those who have registered. Visit the Broadband Reach Project Forward Strategy to find out more on the plans.
A key point to make is that it is no good just complaining about not being able to have broadband in Scotland. To get included on this Broadband Reach Project you must register your demand by 18th January 2008.
The project is initially going to verify those who've registered and try to get a broadband service up and running. With the changes to line limits since ADSL was rolled out in 2000, and particularly the widespread release of the rate adaptive Max products, there are many who stand a better chance of getting a working service. Some providers have in the past been known to turn down orders on long lines without actually attempting an activation so sometimes just ordering from a different provider can help. Once the verification process has been carried out during November and December it will be known precisely how many people will need to be given an alternate access method to give them a reasonable broadband connection.
Scotland has a long history of trying to improve broadband access for all, which was perhaps first illustrated by the funding for 148 Exchange Activate exchanges. Exchange Activate is a cut down ADSL service offering only a 0.5Mbps service and initially can only support 30 connections. Over the years the Scottish Government has upgraded the number of modules at exchanges and where demand has been strong, the exchange kit has been upgraded to offer the full BT Wholesale suite of IPStream services.