29th December 2017

£600 Million Boost For Superfast Broadband Will Benefit Rural Stirling Communities

Fibre and Ethernet

Rural Stirling On Track For 100% Rollout By 2021

Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford has welcomed the Scottish Government’s recent announcement of £600 million over the remainder of this parliament for the rollout of superfast broadband.

Announced in his Draft Budget last week, Finance Secretary Derek MacKay has committed £600 million between now and 2021 in order to meet the SNP Government’s superfast target of reaching 100% of properties with superfast broadband.

This is the most ambitious policy of its kind anywhere in the UK. The UK Government’s target is just 95%.

Funding committed to Scotland over the same period by the UK Government is £21 million.

Superfast broadband coverage in Stirling prior to the SNP Scottish Government’s intervention through the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme was at 59%. Recent figures show that following Scottish Government action, the percentage of premises with access to fibre broadband in the Stirling constituency is 89.7% – and puts Scotland well on course to meet the 100% coverage target by 2021.

The Ofcom figures also show that the most remote areas in Scotland have benefitted the most – and many urban areas are now approaching 100% coverage. The 95% coverage target across the country is on track to be met by the end of this year.

Commenting, Bruce Crawford said:

“Under telecommunications, the rollout of superfast broadband is reserved to Westminster. However, despite this, the Scottish Government has continued to invest in ensuring that more properties are connected to superfast broadband as soon as possible.

“It is clear that the SNP Scottish Government is on track to delivering its manifesto pledge to reach 100% of properties with superfast broadband by the end of this parliamentary term in 2021 and I am delighted that £600 million has been committed over this time to enable this to happen.

“Already, recent Scottish Government investment has resulted in the percentage of households connected rise from 59% to 88%.

“I have been working with community groups across rural Stirling to ensure that faster broadband is delivered at the earliest possible date.

“Yes, there is still much work to be done to reach our goal, but it is clear that encouraging progress has been made.”