Scotland needs greater focus on its broadband strategy


A recent report has called on the Scottish and UK governments to invest more into the infrastructure of high-speed broadband in the country, to ensure businesses and home users are not disadvantaged.

The report, conducted by the Scottish Parliament’s infrastructure and capital investment committee, welcomed the plans that are already in place but concluded that they are simply not bold or far-reaching enough.

With the online environment becoming ever more important in society, particularly for modern day business, rural communities could be at risk of becoming neglected if the present strategy is not updated.

Speaking about the findings of the report, committee Convener Maureen Watt said that they received evidence from a huge range of communities, businesses and individuals concerned about the slow and unreliable internet connections and were shown to have a crippling effect on both small and medium businesses outside Scotland’s main urban areas. Not only does a fast, reliable broadband connection assist socially but it vital in allowing business to compete around the world.

The potential for rural business growth with a well delivered broadband service is huge, particularly with such technologies as business VoIP revolutionising daily operations.

Ms Watt went on to call for an ambitious target to be set. It is her hope that the two governments can get together and ensure that the whole of the country has access to a world class broadband service in just eight years.

The need for an upgraded network throughout Scotland has already been recognised by the UK government, with Westminster recently allocating £68.8 million to help providers roll out a high-speed service.

This has been said to have been inadequate though, particularly with the size of Scotland and the spread of rural communities and businesses throughout the Highlands and remote outer regions.