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Broadband: Scotland

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL1604, tabled on 12 February 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any earmarked funds for the delivery of a full-fibre network for the UK include specified funding for the delivery of the full-fibre network in Scotland; and what funds have been allocated for this purpose in the current year.

Answered on

25 February 2020

Just over £11.5 million of UK Government funding is being provided to Scotland through the Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme. This funding is upgrading public sector assets with gigabit-capable full fibre networks across Tay Cities, Highland Councils and Shetland Councils. These upgrades will then stimulate the market to invest commercially in the surrounding communities. Good progress has been made with the projects thus far with the build, and the associated funding, expected to be completed and utilised respectively by March 2021.

The Scottish Borderlands area is also a priority for the Government’s £200 million Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme, which is upgrading public sector sites in rural areas with gigabit-capable networks. This programme also offers vouchers for rural customers, which can be used to contribute towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable infrastructure.

In addition, the government has pledged £5 billion for a new programme delivering gigabit-capable broadband to the most difficult areas to reach across the UK, including communities in Scotland. We are currently engaging closely with industry, Local Authorities and Devolved Administrations to design this new programme and get the best possible value for money for taxpayers. We intend to start procuring contracts early next year.