Policy & Lobbying
Broadband & Business Infrastructure
Earlier this year, Scottish Government announced that it has struck a deal with BT to upgrade a further eight rural telephone exchanges. The exchanges in seven areas - Dumfries and Galloway, Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross, Argyll and Bute, Moray, Caithness and Sutherland and the Scottish Borders - are currently operating at, or approaching, full capacity for broadband provision. BT is already upgrading 71 similar exchanges across Scotland.
The Scottish Government also announced that since July 2009, it had been able to include over 300 late registrants into the Broadband Reach Project. The project has now successfully provided over 2400 households and businesses, located throughout Scotland, with a broadband connection to the internet for the first time.

The Broadband Reach Project has now closed, and no further Scottish Government subsidy for broadband connections is available.

The Exchange Activate Upgrade Programme is now complete and the Scottish Government provides further details on braodband on their website.

Broadband was one of the main subjects for discussion at the Tourism and Enterprise meeting in early 2011. The UK Government has recently published its new broadband strategy. The strategy sets out the Government’s vision for broadband in the UK. It also includes details on how Broadband Delivery UK will be investing the £530m secured as part of the Spending Review.

On October 22 2010 the Scottish Government published A Digital Ambition for Scotland, which summarises the Government's plans and ambitions for the digital economy.

It was followed by Scotland's Digital Future: A Strategy for Scotland on March 3 2011, which sets out how the Scottish Government will ensure Scotland takes full advantage of digital technology.

Call for views on Broadband Infrastructure in Scotland

The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee has made a call for views in relation to its work on the availability and roll-out of broadband in Scotland.

The Committee has agreed, as a first step, to undertake a scoping exercise to identify the key issues relating to broadband in Scotland.  The exercise may result in the identification of issues which require immediate action or recommendations.  It may also raise issues that the Committee considers merit further, more detailed examination, which could be taken forward separately as inquiry topics in their own right.

Scottish Land & Estates are currently collating a response to the call which closes on the 18th of November 2011.  

    Broadband & Business Infrastructure News

    • 11/09/2015 - Electronic Communications Code Revisions Progress
      The DECC has released details of the revisions to the Electronic Communications Code following the consultation progress. Disappointingly many of the clauses which we felt are inappropriate have remained. This includes the proposal to provide an automatic right for Operators to upgrade and share apparatus without prior agr

    • 02/07/2015 - Campaign to address Broadband and Mobile signal issues
        The Scottish Rural Parliament are co-ordinating a campaign to help address Broadband and Mobile signal issues and to put the pressure on BT and the UK Government to take action. It takes just 30 seconds to sign their letter and petition and you will be

    • 04/03/2015 - Electronic Communications Code Consultation
        The UK Government has published the electronic communication code consultation. This will potentially have a significant impact on the rights and payments members will receive for telelcoms. We urge members to respond individually or feed comments to the pol

    • 21/08/2014 - Lothians and Fife Set to Benefit From Edinburgh Broadband Scheme
      Thousands of businesses in the Lothians and Fife are set to benefit from free superfast broadband thanks to a successful scheme led by the City of Edinburgh Council. The initiative is being delivered until March 2015 by Bu

    • 18/07/2014 - Superfast Broadband Announcement
        The latest phase of the £410 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme has been announced which will see over 90,000 additional homes and businesses gaining access to improved broadband.   

    • 17/10/2013 - Rural Broadband Issue Set to Feature on BBC Scotland's Flagship Rural Affairs Programme
      Scottish Land & Estates, director David Fyffe will appear on BBC Scotland’s  flagship rural affairs programme, Landward, to reveal how rural businesses are overcoming the problems of broadband coverage

    • 10/07/2013 - Next Generation Broadband
      Please see leaflet from South of Scotland broadband giving details on the soon to be live website and also a request for completion of a very short survey in order to judge demand for next generation broadband. Our understanding is that at present there are varying response rates across the Scotti

    • 21/01/2013 - Business rates relief for new empty properties built in Scotland
      Local Government Minister Derek Mackay has announced a new business rates relief of up to 100%, which will help developers and encourage the supply of new build business premises. This new relief will help new empty properties built in Scotland from 1 April. The scheme aims to encourage speculative development and inv

    • 30/11/2012 - Broadband boost for Glen Tanar area
      Householders, businesses and community groups in Glen Tanar on Royal Deeside are reaping the benefits of faster broadband services thanks to a £10,336 grant from the Cairngorms EU Leader Project. Broadband Enabling Technology (BET), which provides broadband services to locations which have no connect

    • 05/09/2012 - Electronic Communications Code
      The Electronic Communications Code sets out the regime that governs the rights of electronic communications operators to maintain infrastructure on public and private land. The Law Commission is currently reviewing the Code to assess the balance struck by the Code between the rights of electronic communications operators and

    • 09/08/2012 - Broadband help for rural communities
      A £5 million fund has been announced to help bring next generation broadband to some of Scotland’s remotest communities. The Community Broadband Scotland initiative will act as a one-stop-shop for rural community groups, providing them with information and advice to find solutions for broadband delivery in their ar

    • 26/06/2012 - £120 million broadband boost
      Scottish Government investment will bring superfast broadband to communities across the Highlands and Islands, Alex Neil said today.    The Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment said the funding will ensure homes and businesses across some of Scotland’s most rural areas could get the benefits

    • 08/02/2012 - New funding for small business loans
      More interest free loans for small businesses will be available thanks to a £2.5 million funding boost. The Scottish Government’s small business loans scheme offers interest free loans of up to £100,000 to help save energy or install renewable energy technologies.

    • 02/02/2012 - Scotland's Digital Future - Infrastructure Action Plan
      Scotland's Digital Future - Infrastructure Action PlanThis action plan outlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to a world-class, future proofed infrastructure that will deliver digital connectivity across the whole of Scotland by 2020. The purpose of this plan is to deliver a step change in people’s ability to

    • 16/11/2011 - European Structural Funds
      European Structural Funds A cash injection of more than £1.9million has been announced to back new jobs and business opportunities throughout Scotland. The money from the European Structural Fund will support new de

    • 15/11/2011 - Interest free loans for sustainable transport and travel measures
      In a bid to encourage Scottish businesses to reduce their carbon impact and travel costs, the Energy Saving Trust Scotland is offering organisations in Scotland interest free loans of between £500 and £50,000 for the installation of measures that make their transport and travel arrangements more sustainable. This could incl

    • 21/10/2011 - Rural Connectivity
      The UK Government has this week announced investment of £150 million in providing greater mobile network coverage across rural areas. Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey MP Danny Alexander has welcomed the announcement by saying, "Along with the ongoing work to bring improved broadband to all areas of the Highlands, this

    • 13/10/2011 - Committee calls for evidence on availability of broadband
      The Scottish Parliament’s Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee is inviting views in relation to its work on the availability and roll out of broadband in Scotland. The Committee is conducting a scoping exercise: to assess the coverage, availability and uptake of broadband across Scotland to

    • 16/08/2011 - Scotland's Broadband Allocation
      Responding to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announcement today on funding for rolling-out broadband in Scotland, Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment said: "I am disappointed with the allocation from the UK Government towards the Scottish Government's ambition for

    • 10/03/2011 - Rural Broadband Summit
      Following the launch of the Scottish Government's Digital Strategy, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead convened a special summit in Edinburgh in March , along with Jim Mather, Minister for Enterprise, Energy & Tourism to look at the rollout of next generation broadband in rural and remote areas of

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