The Scottish Government has allocated £5m to kickstart rural superfast broadband
The Scottish Government plans to bring superfast broadband to all rural communities by 2020, it has been revealed.
The South of Scotland Alliance (SOSA) project, which aims to deliver next generation broadband to all homes in the region, got a kickstart yesterday, with an injection of £5 million worth of funding out of the Scottish Government’s £144.3 million budget, according to an announcement.
Universal superfast access by 2020
The Scottish Government plans to see significant progress by 2015 towards its goal of universal access by 2020, said Infrastructure and Capital Investment Secretary Alex Neil: “Delivering this service to rural areas is a key priority of our digital strategy. Access to next generation broadband will prove hugely beneficial to the South of Scotland, helping existing business to expand, attracting new businesses to the area and connecting communities,” he said.
The Scottish Government, according to the statement, is in the process of developing a national broadband plan, which will be announced early in the New Year.
Tracey Logan, Scottish Borders Council CEO and SOSA project board member, believes that securing next generation broadband services for the South of Scotland is vital. “This initial investment will enable us to move towards providing essential services to every one of our rural communities.”
According to Neil, the funding, designed to get the project up and running, acknowledges the economic issues facing the remote and rural parts of the region and will “lever in further public and private funding.”
SOSA is a strategic partnership between Scottish Enterprise and the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway Councils, while the South of Scotland Next Generation Broadband Project has additional partners in NHS Borders, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, and the Scottish Government.