Scotland's digital growth hampered by '˜internet lag'

Scotland is suffering from an 'internet lag' that poses a major economic risk, the head of telecoms infrastructure provider Commsworld has warned.

Commsworld boss Ricky Nicol says Scotland is being 'left in the dust' of European neighbours. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Commsworld boss Ricky Nicol says Scotland is being 'left in the dust' of European neighbours. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Ricky Nicol, Edinburgh-based firm has grown to become one of the biggest independent players in the sector, said the country’s digital infrastructure had already been “left in the dust” of European neighbours.

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He claimed that a primary concern was the lack of ultra-fast fibre to the premises (FTTP) connections. The majority of advertised “fibre” connections are solely to the cabinet, relying on old-fashioned and comparatively slow copper to deliver data to the building.

At present, an estimated 2 per cent of premises in the UK benefit from FTTP, in comparison to 80 per cent provision in Spain and 70 per cent found uniformly across Scandinavian countries.

Nicol is calling for public and private sector cooperation to accelerate the roll-out of high-speed fibre connections.

He said: “There is not a company out there that does not depend to some extent on the country’s digital infrastructure. Most advertised fibre connections are simply to the cabinet on the street, with outdated copper then taking over to the home or business.

“The Scottish Government’s R100 challenge to give all Scottish premises access to speeds exceeding 30 megabits per second by 2021 is achievable, however that figure lacks ambition in a world increasingly reliant on fast, dependable networks.”