SCOTLAND’S remotest communities are to benefit from high-speed broadband thanks to a £5 million programme backed by the Scottish Government.
• Scheme aims to improve broadband speed in Scotland’s rural areas
• £5 million of investment ear-marked for project over three years
Infrastructure and Capital Investment Secretary, Alex Neil, said “Broadband should not be considered a luxury in rural areas. It is essential to enhance the quality of life and stimulate the growth of the local economy.
“This investment of £5 million over the next three years will see targeted support being provided to community projects to enable them to deliver broadband solutions for their areas.”
Community Broadband Scotland will inform rural residents on new infrastructure developments and how they can increase their connection speeds.
“Seed funding” will be available to a few small project groups piloting the scheme, before it is made available across the north and north-west.
Alex Paterson, CEO of the Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said: “This is an important new initiative which will support communities to develop innovative solutions to bring fast, reliable broadband services to some of Scotland’s most rural locations.
“While there are challenges, there can be significant economic and social benefits from improving broadband. The seed fund will provide the help communities need to ensure Scotland has a world-class digital network by 2020.”