Broadband report calls for 'urgent action' in Scotland

Tuesday, October 26th 2010
Scotland requires major broadband improvements to avoid losing out to its UK and international rivals, according to a report.
Broadband report calls for 'urgent action' in Scotland
A new report has claimed drastic measures are needed to prevent Scotland falling behind competing nations in terms of high-speed broadband access.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), a leading thinktank, said an "optic fibre backbone" similar to the transport network's trunk roads should be installed in the country.

Published today (October 26th), the Digital Scotland report points out that the lowest percentage of homes without broadband in the UK is now found north of the border.

Scotland currently has 61 per cent of households connected to high-speed internet services, compared with 73 per cent of English homes, 70 per cent in Northern Ireland and 64 per cent in Wales.

Professor Michael Fourman, report chairman, commented: "Scotland's future depends on having in place an effective digital infrastructure that will underpin a successful economy, vibrant culture and strong communities."

The RSE estimated the total cost of completing the necessary improvements to the fibre optic broadband network at £100 million.

Scotland's Highlands and Islands region has been selected as one of four pilot areas for the government's new rural broadband scheme.

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