Central Scotland to be first to benefit from UK's £5bn gigabit broadband

LaToya Harding
·Contributor
·2 min read
Electricity pylons are seen at the side of Loch Fyne in Scotland January 21, 2015.  Among the social housing estates of Scotland's fourth largest city, Ed Miliband's bid to unseat Prime Minister David Cameron is in trouble: His opposition Labour party is haemorrhaging support to nationalists. Though Scots voted to stay part of the United Kingdom in a Sept. 18 referendum, support for the Scottish National Party has since soared amid mistrust the London government won't deliver to Scotland's parliament the extra powers it promised to swing the poll result. Picture taken January 21, 2015.  REUTERS/Russell Cheyne (BRITAIN - Tags: POLITICS ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY ELECTIONS ENERGY)
More than 5,300 homes and businesses in Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Stirlingshire, Greater Glasgow and Lothian will get faster gigabit internet speeds under the nationwide programme. Photo: Reuters/POLITICS ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY ELECTIONS ENERGY

Central Scotland is set to be the first area in the UK to benefit from the government’s record £5bn ($6.9bn) investment in next-generation broadband.

More than 5,300 homes and businesses in Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Stirlingshire, Greater Glasgow and Lothian will get faster gigabit internet speeds under the nationwide programme.

These premises currently have slow speeds and were due to benefit from superfast broadband through the Scottish government’s Reaching 100 scheme, which is scheduled to invest £83m in the area.

However, an agreement between the UK and Scottish governments now means properties will get gigabit-capable full fibre broadband built directly to their doorsteps.

The UK Government has committed to delivering nationwide coverage of gigabit capable broadband through its £5bn UK Gigabit Programme, with a minimum target of 85% coverage by 2025.

The £5bn will be used to subsidise building in hard-to-reach areas that aren’t set to benefit from planned industry rollout. The move will future-proof internet connections in the area for the next thirty to forty years.

“It is our mission to deliver lightning-fast next-generation internet connections to all parts of the UK as we build back better from the pandemic, Matt Warman, UK minister for digital infrastructure, said. “And this is just the start.”

“Other areas of Scotland and the rest of the UK will benefit from our record investment in this n

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Scotland’s connectivity minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “The past year has demonstrated beyond doubt just how vital digital connectivity is across all areas of our lives – from health, wellbeing and education to social and economic recovery.”

“That’s why the Scottish government is investing £579m in funding towards the £600m cost of our Reaching 100% programme, building the infrastructure which, together with commercially-driven work, will ensure access to superfast broadband speeds to 100% of homes and businesses across Scotland.”

The Scottish government’s R100 programme is in the process of ensuring that all homes and businesses across Scotland can access superfast broadband.

Superfast broadband provides minimum speeds of 30 megabits per second, whereas gigabit broadband delivers lightning-fast speeds capable of reaching 1,000 megabits per second.

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