The Scottish Government has announced that more rural homes and businesses can expect access faster broadband, after a funding increase of £36 million onto the Reaching 100% Contracts.
The contract extension with the broadband delivery partner will allow an extra 2,637 rural properties across Scotland to access gigabit-capable connections through further funding from both the UK and Scottish Government’s.
Ivan McKee, Business Minister, said:
“This latest investment will connect more homes and businesses in Scotland’s rural and island communities to gigabit capable broadband. That will have far reaching economic, social and development impacts.
“Our R100 programme is going further, and providing faster broadband, than originally envisaged. This takes time and significant investment, but we are fully committed to ensuring that as many people as possible are able to enjoy the important advantages of this future-proofed digital infrastructure.”
The UK Government’s Project Gigabit is focusing on providing faster broadband to everyone, with the aim of having nationwide gigabit-capable broadband coverage and 4G coverage by 2030, with 5G coverage being accessible for most of the population. This project will fund £16 million of the additional investment, whilst the Scottish Government will invest a further £20 million.
Digital Infrastructure Minister for the UK Government, Matt Warman, said:
"Bringing lightning-fast and reliable broadband to hard-to-reach areas is at the heart of the UK Government's mission to level up communities, and that's exactly what we're doing in Scotland with our additional £16 million investment in R100.
"We've already delivered faster broadband to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across Scotland and there is even more investment on the way thanks to Project Gigabit, our record £5 billion programme to bring growth and prosperity to rural areas by putting them in the digital fast lane."
The contracts being extended with the new investment cover the North Lot (North of Scotland and most of Scotland’s inhabited islands) and the South Lot (Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders and stretching from East Lothian and East Ayrshire).
On 17 November we’re joined by public sector leaders and innovators to explore the key challenges that levelling up brings. Gain insight into what public sector leaders need to navigate the plan while prioritising communities and how to shift regional inequalities to support people and places. One of the panels in this event will look at Project Gigabit, with two expert guests ready to discuss digital connectivity. Register here