Quality broadband and mobile infrastructure is of increasing and central importance to Scotland's economy, enhancing productivity and driving innovation in Scotland's businesses, especially in its more remote and rural areas. The Scottish Government's refreshed Digital Strategy - Realising Scotland's full potential in a digital world: a digital strategy for Scotland - sets out the vision for Scotland as a vibrant, inclusive, open and outward looking digital nation to ensure that it continues to prosper in an increasingly connected and competitive world.
This section looks at the take up of standard and next generation broadband among businesses in Scotland, and the reasons why businesses without internet access are not connected.
Figure 1: Internet connection take up (%)
Base: Businesses with an internet connection (min = 3,160)
Internet take up (see Figure 1)
- In total, 97 per cent of businesses surveyed in 2017 had an internet connection, compared to 94 per cent of businesses surveyed in 2014.
- Among businesses with an internet connection, the most common type of connection was Broadband via telephone line (65 per cent)
- Fibre optic broadband connections showed the biggest increase in take up, rising from 11 per cent of businesses with an internet connection in 2014, to 28 per cent in 2017.
- Among businesses that had internet access, around one quarter (26 per cent) stated that they were fairly or very likely to improve their connection in the next 12 months. Around two-thirds (65 per cent) were fairly or very unlikely to do so.
Businesses with no internet connection
- Among those businesses that did not have an internet connection (3 per cent), only 19 per cent were very or fairly likely to get an internet connection over the next 12 months, if it were available. 77 per cent were very or fairly unlikely to get an internet connection. These findings matched closely to those in the 2014 survey.
- Among those that were unlikely to get an internet connection, the most commonly cited reason was that there was no business need (65 per cent). Other reasons included that the business owners were due to retire soon, and a lack of interest in obtaining an internet connection.