BROADBAND CONNECTING SCOTLAND’S REMOTE AND
23 May 2005
The roll out schedule is now available - enter your
postcode into 'Suppliers in my area' above.
Every community in Scotland will have access to affordable
broadband services by the end of 2005, thanks to a contract
signed between the Executive and BT.
Under the Executive’s Broadband for Scotland’s
Rural and Remote Areas initiative, BT will enable 378 exchanges
to deliver basic broadband to 51,000 households and 5,400
businesses across Scotland that would not have otherwise received
the service. All of these exchanges are in remote and rural
areas where it would not have been commercially feasible to
provide broadband without Executive support.
Twenty local authority areas from the Shetland Islands to
the Scottish Borders will benefit. (See below for a full list
Announcing the contract, Enterprise Minister Jim Wallace
at the time, said that the Executive is stepping in to help
provide the ‘vital technology’ in areas like this
where the commercial market won’t deliver.
“We made a commitment in our Partnership Agreement
to ensure that every community in Scotland has access to broadband
by the end of 2005. We are now well on the way to delivering
“We cannot allow remote and rural communities to fall
behind simply because they cannot access this vital technology
that can make a positive difference to many aspects of our
“We have made it clear again and again that economic
growth is our top priority. By providing access to broadband
technology in Scotland and the huge benefits it brings, we
are putting in place an important business and educational
tool to facilitate economic growth in every community.”
Bob Downes, the director of BT Scotland, said:
“Delivering broadband to all of Scotland has been at
the heart of BT Scotland strategy in recent years. Having
invested in the region of £100 million to bring broadband
to 97.8% of the country by this summer, we welcome this opportunity
to complete the framework. This will also be welcome news
for our workforce of almost 12,000.
“We look forward to working with the Scottish Executive
to overcome Scotland’s unique geographical challenges
and use technology to place Scotland at the technological,
if not physical, epicentre of Europe. Ubiquitous broadband
availability brings great opportunities for Scotland plc in
education, public services and business life, and will place
Scotland among the leaders of the G8 countries in terms of
availability. BT Scotland is delighted to have been entrusted
with a lead role in securing the country’s economic
Engineering work to deliver the roll out of broadband services
across Scotland’s rural and remote communities will
begin this week, with broadband services being available from
the first enabled exchanges this summer.
The 20 local authority areas to benefit under the project
Argyll and Bute
Dumfries and Galloway
Perth and Kinross
Keep an eye on this website for updates on progress. Press
releases and answers to some commonly asked questions
can be found here
The Broadband for Scotland's Rural and Remote Areas Initiative
has been funded as part of the Executive's £24 million broadband
strategy for Scotland, and has also received financial support
of up to £5 million from the European Regional Development
Fund (ERDF) programme in Scotland.
Broadband for Scotland is run by the Executive in partnership
with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise.
The Broadband for Scotland's Remote and Rural Areas procurement
was led by the Scottish Procurement Directorate at the Executive.
The project was advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union in July 2004 and was, in parallel, notified to the European Commission for State Aid clearance. The project received Commission approval as compatible State Aid in November 2004. BT was selected as the supplier after the open procurement process and a contract with them has just been signed.