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Broadband and mobile

We want to develop world-class digital infrastructure across Scotland by 2020.

Our digital infrastructure action plan details how we will achieve this goal, by improving and extending our broadband and mobile infrastructure.

Broadband

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme (DSSB) achieved its initial target of delivering access to fibre broadband to 85% of premises in Scotland by March 2016 and is on track to make this 95% by the end of 2017. Over 700,000 homes and businesses across Scotland now have access to superfast broadband.

In August 2012 we provided £7.5 million in funding and supported Highlands and Islands Enterprise in launching Community Broadband Scotland (CBS) to develop superfast broadband solutions for areas where DSSB is unable to provide coverage.

Underpinning these core infrastructure programmes are two additional programmes:

Demonstrating Digital

With the Demonstrating Digital programme we have led a number of pilot projects trialling innovative mobile and broadband technologies and alternative sustainable business models. To date we have provided grant funding of over £400,000 for Demonstrating Digital projects.

Projects have included:

  • supporting housing associations in Glasgow and Edinburgh to develop affordable broadband services for digitally excluded tenants
  • supporting the University of Edinburgh to demonstrate point-to-point wireless links utilising free space optics and 24-gigahertz microwave technology
  • partnering with the University of Strathclyde to demonstrate TV white space technology as alternative backhaul for wireless broadband services
  • setting up a partnership between Development Coll and Vodafone to develop a sustainable business model for providing 4G mobile services to the Isle of Coll

Choose Digital First

Choose Digital First aims to increase businesses' and individuals' use of digital technology and to raise demand for services, helping to improve the commercial case for investment and delivering better outcomes for Scotland.

Mobile

Widespread mobile connectivity is every bit as vital as superfast broadband for a world class digital Scotland. Although telecoms remains a reserved policy area, our work to achieve improved mobile connectivity is important to Scotland – socially, economically and in terms of local resilience.

In June 2016, we agreed a Mobile Action Plan with the UK's four main mobile operators. This remains the only one of its kind in the UK, a collaboration with industry to improve mobile connectivity.

We are working in collaboration with Scottish Futures Trust and the mobile industry to develop a 'mobile infill programme' through which we aim to push access to 4G further, beyond commercial investment.

We are working with the UK Government to maximise the wider impacts of the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme, a new 4G network for the 'blue light' services.

We want to ensure that Scotland benefits from UK Government funding which has been allocated for 5G. We will create a 5G Hub to ensure Scotland is at the forefront of 5G testing and deployment.