The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband Programme aims to provide fibre broadband infrastructure to areas where non-commercial infrastructure providers have chosen not to develop. Combined with current commercial roll-out plans, 95% of premises in Scotland should have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2017 and 85% by the end of 2015. It is split into two projects; Highlands and Islands and the rest of Scotland.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise entered into a contract with BT PLC in March 2013 to deliver access to fibre broadband to around 84% of homes and businesses in the Highlands and Islands by the end of 2016, including commercial roll out. It involves installing 800km of new fibre infrastructure and 400km of subsea cabling, in addition to using the existing fibre network. This project is valued at £145.8 million.
The contract for the rest of Scotland project was signed between the Scottish Government and BT plc in July 2013. It will deliver access to fibre broadband to at least 96% of premises by the end of 2017, when combined with existing commercial roll-out plans. It is the highest value telecommunications infrastructure investment in Europe, and will bring fibre broadband to over 600,000 premises within 130,000 postcodes. This is valued at £264 million.
The roll out has 3 stages:
- Survey, design and detailed planning
- Infrastructure build
- Services becoming available
Visit the link below to find out when to expect the services to become available for you: http://www.digitalscotland.org/whereandwhen
Community Broadband Scotland
Community Broadband Scotland is a Scottish Government project led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Other delivery partners include; Scottish Enterprise, COSLA, Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development Group, Carnegie UK Trust, Cairngorms National Park Authority and Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority. It aims to inspire, support and empower remote and rural communities across Scotland to establish community broadband networks, delivering improved connectivity which will transform the way communities live, work and learn.
Their focus is on the areas that are least likely to benefit from the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband rollouts. They have 5 regionally based advisers who are supporting communities to explore and develop their own community led broadband solutions. In their first year of operation they have been actively engaged with 62 communities. They offer a Community Broadband Scotland Start Up Fund which is open to expressions of interest from other communities with limited or not broadband and is considered unlikely to benefit from the Digital Scotland roll outs. To express an interest in this fund visit: http://www.hie.co.uk/community-support/community-broadband-scotland/contact-us/default.html