Improving digital infrastructure through increased availability of next generation broadband connectivity is critical to Scotland's future. It will enable delivery of the future generation of digital public services, health and social care (e.g. telehealth). Digital public services will provide services which are easier, quicker and more convenient for people to use, and at a lower cost than other methods. This will bring about public sector efficiencies and savings. Broadband must also be considered in the context of the wider reform of public services.
Such connectivity will support future innovation in the digital economy and ensure Scotland's business base can grow and remain competitive in the global digital environment. It will help the transition to a low carbon economy - allowing people to travel less and work from home. It will also play a critical role in driving rural economic growth and competitiveness, creating more and better jobs and opening up new opportunities for different ways of living and working that encourage strong and growing rural towns and villages and respects and protects our environment.
There are a range of factors that could influence the roll-out of digital infrastructure in Scotland. Some of the main factors include:
- Policy decisions taken by UK Government and Ofcom, including: regulation and requirements placed on the telecommunications industry (such as the spectrum auction for 4G licenses and proposals to relax restrictions on overhead lines); and funding. The ability of the Scottish Government to influence proposed action at a UK level will also impact
- The extent of private sector investment in Scotland, which is largely driven by consumer demand take-up of services (across the domestic, business and public sectors)
- The way in which future investments are made in public sector networks and services across Scotland. Public sector aggregation could provide cost and performance advantages, whilst also delivering benefits to remote and rural areas
- Availability of and ability to attract funding from a range of sources - Scottish and UK Governments, Local Authorities, Europe, and the private sector
- The ability to deliver technology solutions that will provide next generation broadband to Scotland's remote and rural areas
Scotland has some of the most challenging and rural geography and public sector action will be required to facilitate and extend the roll out of next generation broadband across the whole of Scotland to ensure that rural and remote communities are not left behind. Achieving the Government's ambition will therefore require committed and co-ordinated action across the public and private sectors to reach our shared goal of a connected country while ensuring that everyone receives a fair and equitable return on investment. The role of Government is to demonstrate leadership and to facilitate action across public and private sectors.
In June 2016, the option of subscribing to a next-generation access network was available to 88% of residential and business premises in Scotland. This was up by 4 percentage points from the previous year.
The data is available at the bottom of the page.
This evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 1 percentage point of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 1 percentage point or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 1 percentage point or more suggests the position is worsening.
For information on general methodological approach, please click here.
Scotland Performs Technical Note
Broadband Delivery UK
Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Wealthier and Fairer
Safer and Stronger