Digital infrastructure is a key component in enabling sustainable economic growth across Scotland. By ensuring Scotland has the digital infrastructure needed to deliver real economic benefits and improved connectivity, we can position Scotland at the forefront of digital innovation.
The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) Programme achieved its target of delivering access to fibre broadband to 95% of premises in Scotland by December 2017, creating a fibre spine that will support future generations of fixed and mobile connectivity. Over 900,000 homes and business, that would not otherwise have been connected, can now access fibre broadband as a direct result of the programme. Due to efficiencies and increased return on investment, the rollout of fibre broadband through DSSB will continue throughout 2019.
The Reaching 100% (R100) programme will extend superfast broadband access, at speeds of 30 Megabits per second or better, to 100% of premises in Scotland. It will provide a future-proofed, national fibre network that will make rural Scotland one of the best connected places anywhere in Europe, and underpin future economic growth. The £600 million procurement for R100 (96.5% funded by the Scottish Government) is underway with contracts to be awarded during 2019.
The Scottish 4G Infill (S4GI) programme aims to deliver future-proofed mobile infrastructure and 4G services in selected mobile 'not-spots' across the country; £25 million has been allocated for this programme, which includes matched funding from the European Regional Development Fund to support activity in the Highlands and Islands region of Scotland.
Following a procurement conducted in early 2018, WHP Telecoms Ltd was appointed in July 2018 as the infrastructure provider. Launched with an initial 16 sites following a public consultation on potential candidate sites for inclusion, the programme is now currently working to deliver 45 mast sites, which will be subject to the willingness of mobile network operators to delivering 4G services from the sites. The programme aims to deliver 50 to 60 sites in total over the four years from 2018-19 to 2021-22.