Letter: Make yourself heard in broadband race

FOLLOWING Shân Ross's article "Poor internet access hampers rural Scotland" (News, 24 October), BT Scotland welcomes the publication of the Digital Scotland report from the Royal Society of Edinburgh. We were pleased to respond to the interim report and will study the recommendations made in the final report closely.

Scotland currently enjoys some of the best broadband services anywhere in Europe. BT is investing up to 2.5 billion to deliver fibre broadband to around two-thirds of UK homes and businesses, subject to an acceptable environment for investment. It's the largest single commercial investment in fibre-based broadband ever undertaken in the UK, and one of the biggest current civil engineering projects.

People in Scotland can influence our future roll-out of super-fast fibre optic broadband. We are asking people in every community of Scotland to register their demand at www.bt.com/racetoinfinity, and the data collected in this national survey will help to shape subsequent deployment.

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The five UK exchanges with the highest percentage of votes will be upgraded and the competition element of the survey is open to all exchanges receiving at least 1,000 votes. In addition, BT will engage with any community where 75 per cent of homes and businesses have voted for super-fast broadband, and explore all possibilities of bringing fibre broadband to the area.

We want to ensure that everyone in Scotland can realise the economic and social benefits made possible by super-fast broadband. We have always been clear that some form of public sector stimulus will be required to bring these benefits to those outside the commercially viable urban centres.

The Scottish Government will publish a digital strategy in the coming months and we will continue to work with them and other interested parties to improve broadband services in hard-to-reach areas.

Brendan Dick, Director BT Scotland