1 Ministerial Foreword
In October last year we set out the Scottish Government's Digital Ambition for Scotland. Our ambition is:
- That next generation broadband will be available to all by 2020, and significant progress will be made by 2015; and
- That the rate of broadband uptake by people in Scotland should be at or above the UK average by 2013, and should be highest among the UK nations by 2015.
Scotland's Digital Future: A Strategy for Scotland sets out in more detail how we intend to achieve our digital ambition. It summarises what we are already doing, and what further actions we propose to take, in the four key areas of public service delivery; the digital economy; digital participation and broadband connectivity. In doing so, it proposes a co-ordinated and comprehensive approach to ensuring that Scotland is positioned to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the digital age. It will also help us build the solid infrastructure, skills and competitive base which is an essential element of the Economic Recovery Plan that we published on 24 February 2011.
As Digital Ambition made clear, I welcome the fact that a range of organisations have recently contributed ideas for how Scotland should take advantage of the digital world. I would like to thank the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Reform Scotland, Consumer Focus Scotland, Ofcom in Scotland and the Scottish Parliament, all of which have made significant contributions to the discussion. Many other individuals and organisations have also contributed towards our thinking in producing this strategy.
The breadth of discussion on the topic reflects the fact that achieving our digital ambition will not just be for the Scottish Government. It will require co-ordinated action and support from partners across Scotland. We will work constructively with those partners at every stage throughout the delivery of this strategy, and will engage in ongoing dialogue with relevant stakeholders at every stage throughout the delivery process.
Scotland already has world-class strengths in many areas relating to digital technology - its digital media industries, its higher and further education facilities and its telecare services. This strategy sets out how we can build on those strengths to ensure a fairer and more prosperous digital Scotland.
Minister for Culture and External Affairs