Scotland's Digital Future: A Strategy for Scotland

Strategy setting out how we will ensure Scotland takes full advantage of digital technology.

Summary of actions

To improve the speed and responsiveness of public services


We will establish governance and accountability structures for telehealthcare development by July 2011 which reflect the sector's importance to public service reform and economic development, and which ensure the Scottish Government continues to take a strong leadership role in the sector.

July 2011


We will take forward options for developing an online portal for Scottish public information and services, and launch prototype (beta) site for testing in first half of 2011.

First half of 2011


The National Archives of Scotland will work with the General Register Office for Scotland and Registers of Scotland, in co-operation with the National Library of Scotland to develop long term preservation solutions for public digital assets. A key aim is to develop a national digital asset strategy, which will formalise work in these areas and establish best-practice approaches by February 2012.

February 2012


We will work with our partners to develop proposals for releasing more government information and data for use by the public. Initial proposals to be developed and implementation to begin by the end of July. The Scottish Government invites suggestions for areas where the greater availability of public data could lead to new services or innovative applications.

30 June 2011

To position Scotland at the forefront of the digital economy


We will continue to ensure that action taken in Scotland builds on, and adds value to, that carried out at a UK and European level.



Working through Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and others, undertake development work to map and understand future priorities for Scotland in relation to the digital economy and develop an aligned action plan on how to take this forward, including potential opportunities from the Technology Strategy Board.

During 2011


We will shortly publish our Creative Industries Strategy. The Strategy will be consistent with the aims of Digital Strategy, and will emphasise the importance of ensuring that the creative industries are equipped to prosper in a period of rapid technological change.

March 2011


We are working in partnership with Business Gateway, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to develop a programme to encourage the 25% of Scottish businesses currently not online, to get online, and to support the 75% already online to make better use of the broadband that is available to them.

During 2011

To increase the rate of broadband uptake by people in Scotland


We will work with established suppliers and community organisations to investigate options for recycling computer equipment and making it available at lower cost to individuals and community centres. Options analysis to be completed by end of July 2011.

31 July 2011


We will work with learning providers to ensure that delivery of adult learning takes full account of the importance of digital participation.



We will ensure that the Technologies for Learning Strategy takes full account of the aims of this digital strategy. We will also ensure that there is effective co-ordination of work on delivering broadband to schools and delivering it for the wider public sector.

31 July 2011


We will continue to pursue the establishment of a Scottish Digital Network, in line with recommendations made in the final report of the Scottish Digital Network Panel. We will seek to ensure the importance of encouraging digital participation is enshrined in the remit of a digital network when it is established.



We will establish a project team to take forward planning for an awareness raising campaign for the benefits of digital technology. Options for the campaign to be assessed by the end of July 2011, and the campaign to commence during the second half of 2011.

31 July 2011, then ongoing


We will work with Race Online 2012 programme and UK Government to ensure
co-ordination between Scottish Government's digital participation initiatives and relevant Race Online UK-wide initiatives.



We will work closely with partner organisations signed up by Race Online 2012 to ensure that they are able to deliver or contribute to digital participation initiatives in Scotland.


To deliver next generation broadband availability to all


We will work with industry to carry out more detailed analysis of the extent of the current and planned next generation broadband network across Scotland to identify priority areas for future intervention.

October 2011


We will carry out a more detailed financial analysis to understand better the costs of rolling out next generation broadband across Scotland.

August 2011


We will work with industry to assess the potential for a range of different demand stimulation models and how they might achieve greater private sector investment in next generation broadband.

September 2011


Over the course of 2011, we will work with the industry and Ofcom over 2011 to identify barriers to increased mobile coverage and assess how these may be overcome. We will make appropriate representation to the UK Government and Ofcom to ensure that forthcoming spectrum auctions maximise the potential impact on future mobile broadband coverage in rural Scotland.

During 2011


In order to secure the best possible share from the £530 million allocated at UK level for broadband delivery, we will work with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, local authorities and other stakeholders to collectively develop a strategic infrastructure plan for Scotland which will comprise regional broadband strategies.

During 2011


We will work with Pathfinder partners to design and implement a pilot project by March 2012 to explore how Pathfinder might be utilised to deliver next generation broadband to rural communities.

March 2012


We will work with public sector partners and industry to improve our understanding of the scope to maximise the benefits of existing public sector infrastructure. We will commence discussions by May 2011 and we will take full account of the recommendations from the forthcoming McClelland Review on this issue, the work being carried out at a UK level through the Public Service Network Strategy and we will learn lessons from elsewhere e.g. the PSBA (Public Sector Broadband Aggregation) Network in Wales.

May 2011
and ongoing


During 2011, we will explore the feasibility and appropriateness of potential procurement and financing models, taking into account the all of the work described in this section including cost analysis work; UK Government and EU funding; existing infrastructure investments; possible public sector aggregation work; and potential for community models.

During 2011


We will work with Scottish Water, its partners, and other utilities providers to understand opportunities for infrastructure sharing and how this might help drive roll out of broadband in rural areas.

September 2011


We will explore how we can further support rural communities to develop sustainable models for delivery of broadband infrastructure and services. We will look at areas where we have already made significant impact in communities e.g. renewables, and outline how we plan to take this forward by July 2011.

July 2011

To achieve our digital ambition


We will establish a Ministerial sub-committee, chaired by the Minister for Culture and External Affairs and including the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning and the Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism, to take responsibility for delivery of the Scottish Government's digital strategy.

July 2011


We will establish a programme board, chaired by a senior civil servant at director level, to drive forward implementation of the actions set out in this strategy, and to report on progress to the Ministerial sub-committee. We will also establish two new project boards specifically to take forward work on broadband infrastructure and digital participation.

June 2011


We will publish a report on progress in delivering the actions set out in this Strategy during March 2012, 2013 and 2014. These reports will include an assessment of whether each of the actions is still appropriate, and whether any new actions are required.

March 2012

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