BT partners with Scottish government for high-speed broadband roll-out
The Scottish government yesterday announced a £264 million investment in the roll-out of high-speed fibre broadband in the country, in partnership with British incumbent BT.
BT will invest £106.7 million in the project which expects to connect 85% of Scottish homes and businesses by the end of 2015.
The project will be led by the Scottish government which will work closely with local authorities, ensuring that initial priority is given to rural areas where connectivity is often unreliable.
“Today’s announcement signals the start of one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in the whole of Europe,” said Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s deputy first minister, at the BT exchange in Glasgow where the contract was signed.
“It will connect communities across rural and urban areas, providing a platform for future economic development and regeneration.”
Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) has also invested £50 million in the project, which follows a £146 million agreement signed earlier this year to deliver faster broadband to the Highlands region, bringing the total fibre broadband investment in the country to over £410 million.
“Both national and local government recognise that digital connectivity is vital to future economic prosperity and the success of our partnership is testament to our shared ambition to ensure that Scottish business and communities realise the benefits of the digital age,” Sturgeon said.
The project is hoped to connect 95% of the Scottish population by the end of 2017 and comes after a similar agreement BT signed with Staffordshire county council in May this year.