Information

Broadband Connectivity to properties served by the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.


Information requested

1. Information on any upgrades made in the last 5 years to the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange to improve broadband speeds.

2. Information on any upgrades made in the last 5 years to improve the broadband speed from the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange to connected properties and business.

3. Information on actual expenditure and its purpose in the last 5 years which has improved the broadband speed from the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange to connected properties and business.

4. Planned activity in the next 2 years which will improve the broadband speed from the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange to connected properties and business and to what speed.

Response

Request 1: Information on any upgrades made in the last 5 years to the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange to improve broadband speeds.

Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested because the Telephone Exchange is commercially owned and was not implemented under any Scottish Government funded broadband deployment programme or initiative. If you still require information specific to the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange I would recommend contacting BT Plc directly as they may have the information you have requested.

Request 2: Information on any upgrades made in the last 5 years to improve the broadband speed from the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange to connected properties and business.

In line with the response provided to your first request above, under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested because the Telephone Exchange is commercially owned and was not implemented under any Scottish Government funded broadband deployment programme or initiative. If you still require information specific to the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange I would recommend contacting BT Plc directly as they may have the information you have requested.

There are, however, properties in the wider exchange area that have benefited from a Scottish Government funded broadband programme. As part of our Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme, I can confirm that a Passive Optical Network (PON) was installed on 30 June 2018 that connected 27 premises in the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange area to fibre broadband.

Request 3: Information on actual expenditure and its purpose in the last 5 years which has improved the broadband speed from the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange to connected properties and business.

As outline previously, the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange is a commercially owned telephone exchange which means that any upgrades or work carried out in the exchange build have not been publicly funded. As a consequence we do not hold any information on expenditure for the last five years which has improved broadband speeds from the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange.

Delivery of new digital infrastructure to improve broadband connectivity speeds is a key component of a number of Scottish Government digital infrastructure programmes such as the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) and Reaching 100% (R100) programmes.

While it is not possible to single out the costs solely attributed to improving the speeds for properties and businesses in the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange area, we can confirm the level of capital investment in digital infrastructure overall in the last 5 years. This information is provided in the table below.

Financial year

Capital spend (£million)

2016/17

£66.2

2017/18

£27.1

2018/19

£18.0

2019/20

£21.6

2020/21

£72


Request 4: Planned activity in the next 2 years which will improve the broadband speed from the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange to connected properties and business and to what speed.


As outlined above, The Scottish Government does not hold specific information for any planned activity to improve the broadband speeds from the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange.

The Scottish Government recognises the ever-increasing importance of good quality digital connectivity in all aspects of our lives. That is why we are investing in the Reaching 100% (R100) programme to ensure that every home and business can access superfast broadband.

In December 2019 we signed the £83 million R100 Central contract with BT plc to extend superfast broadband to over 32,000 premises across Central Scotland (which includes the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange area). This contract goes significantly beyond our superfast commitment by providing a substantial number of full-fibre connections, meaning many premises will have access to infrastructure capable of delivering download speeds of up to 1 Gigabit (1,000 Megabits) per second.

As at 27 May 2022 there are 88 premises in the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange area that will have a broadband connection delivered through the R100 Central contract. Properties that are not expected to receive a connection through either the R100 contracts or commercial investment are eligible for a voucher through the R100 Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (SBVS), which offers a subsidy worth up to £5,000 per property to secure a superfast broadband connection. The SBVS is also specifically designed to allow vouchers for premises in a community to be combined to extend available funding.

There are currently 33 premises in the Port of Menteith Telephone Exchange area that are eligible for a connection through the R100 SBVS.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

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
EH1 3DG

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