Publication - FOI/EIR release

Digital infrastructure budget figures and details of R100 programme: FOI release

Published: 18 Nov 2021

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
18 Nov 2021
Digital infrastructure budget figures and details of R100 programme: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100247257
Date received: 13 Oct 2021
Date responded: 5 Nov 2021
Information requested

Information regarding the Scottish budget for digital connectivity and the Scottish Government's R100 programme.

Of the Scottish Government's budget provision for digital connectivity, how much has been allocated to infrastructure?

Can you also provide any information you hold as to why the R100 digital connectivity programme has been delayed, and what provision within the programme is being made to improve broadband speeds in the Scottish Borders?

Response

1. Of the Scottish Government's budget provision for digital connectivity, how much has been allocated to infrastructure?

For Financial Year 2021/22 £98.2m has been allocated to Digital Connectivity for improving digital infrastructure.

For information please see the below table detailing actual spend for digital infrastructure in previous financial years.

Financial Year Total Spend (£m)
2015/16 £68.9
2016/17 £54.9
2017/18 £66.2
2018/19 £27.1
2019/20 £18.0
2020/21 £21.6

This table was provided in response to a parliamentary question (S6W-01028) and the answer is available on the Scottish Parliament website.

2. Can you also provide any information you hold as to why the R100 digital connectivity programme has been delayed, and what provision within the programme is being made to improve broadband speeds in the Scottish Borders?

Information on extensions granted to bidders for the R100 procurements was provided in response to a parliamentary question (S5W-23670). Information relating to the delay caused by a legal challenge to the award of the R100 North lot contract is provided in response to parliamentary questions S5W-26766 and S5W-34020. The answers to these questions are available on the Scottish Parliament website.

The R100 programme will be delivered via three strands of activity – the £600 million R100 contracts covering North, Central and South of Scotland, the R100 Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (R100 SBVS), and continued commercial delivery.

The Scottish Borders falls within the South lot of the R100 contracts. As the sole bidder for the £133 million South lot contract, BT committed to provide fibre to the premises (FTTP) connectivity to just under 21,000 premises across the South of Scotland, including the Scottish Borders. BT’s bid goes significantly beyond our original commitment to provide superfast broadband speeds of at least 30 megabits per second (Mbps) by providing full fibre connectivity capable of download speeds of around 1,000 megabits per second.

The R100 South lot contract alone, however, will not provide 100% superfast broadband access across the South of Scotland. Anyone whose home or business broadband speed is less than 30Mbps, and where there are no plans to bring superfast broadband to their address by the end of 2021 – either via the R100 South lot contract or through commercial build – will be eligible for a voucher through the R100 SBVS.

The R100 SBVS has been developed to offer a range of technologies capable of delivering superfast broadband speeds – including fibre, fixed wireless, mobile broadband and satellite –and there are a number of suppliers offering services that will achieve that.

About FOI

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
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