£32 million worth of additional funding has been pledged for superfast broadband development in Scotland, following a government review of the region’s infrastructure needs.
According to media reports, the UK government has now decided that Scotland’s challenging topography, coupled with low levels of funding from local sources, has meant that a significant level of investment over and above the £68.8 million originally granted for the region by Broadband delivery UK (BDUK) back in August 2011, is urgently required.
Commenting on the move, Michael Moore, the Scottish Secretary, said:
‘Access to superfast broadband means Scottish businesses can expand, develop new markets and compete globally. Providing Scotland with high-speed broadband is essential for businesses to grow [and]…for the future economic success of Scotland and the UK.’
Among the areas of Scotland expected to benefit from the additional funding are the Highlands and Islands, where it is understood to have been acknowledged that the poor state of existing communications systems necessitates a far more intensive development programme.
The news that an extra funding package is to be granted to help ensure the widest development of superfast broadband capacity in Scotland is likely to be welcomed by many businesses in the region, which have thus far reportedly felt at a disadvantage when it comes to competing in worldwide markets.
In addition to improvements in the speed and quality of online communications with customers and suppliers, superfast broadband also has the capacity to permit businesses access to key value added services such as internet protocol (IP) telephony, whereby voice calls can be made and received via business VoIP (voice over internet protocol).
As well as providing the potential for more competitive phone tariffs, business VoIP also enables a firm to easily scale the number of phone connections required up or down; whilst permitting personnel to use the same phone connection at any location.