Scottish government unhappy with broadband funds allocation
The Scottish government have stated that they are disappointed with the amount of funding for broadband services in Scotland after the country has been allocated £68.8 million of investment from the BDUK fund.
"This announcement from the UK Government has fallen short of the expectations of the Scottish economy to the overall costs of broadband rollout in the remote and rural parts of Scotland. For instance the cost to deliver next generation broadband across the Highlands and Islands alone has been estimated at up to £300 million, therefore we do not regard the UK Government's allocation as a realistic contribution to meet Scotland's broadband requirements.
"The Scottish Government believes that people across Scotland should have the same access to the benefits of high speed connection and fair access to the digital revolution. That investment will be good for jobs and economic growth and why we will be introducing a Next Generation Digital Fund amongst other measures.Alex Neil, (Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment) Scottish Government
The amount being made available to Scotland accounts for around 13% of the total funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) who are allocating a sum of £530m throughout the UK to help improve broadband services and ensure a minimum access speed of 2Mbps is available to all. The Scottish government would look to find matched funding from a private partner who would deploy services, but this wouldn't get them up to the estimated £300m that would be needed to help the entire country. Neil says he will be writing to the UK government to try and secure the country a better deal.
A further £300m is expected to be made available in the next parliament which may go further to helping increase next-generation broadband access, but this is again for all of the UK. If the Scottish share remains roughly the same, they would only see an additional £40m of funding.