1 Ministerial foreword
This action plan outlines our commitment to a world-class, future proofed infrastructure that will deliver digital connectivity across the whole of Scotland by 2020. The purpose of this plan is to deliver a step change in people's ability to access the internet, enabling people to connect from their homes, businesses and while on the move. A world-class digital infrastructure for Scotland must deliver in terms of speed and ease of access, geographical coverage, and price and choice of provision for consumers. We recognise it is particularly critical for rural and remote communities to be digitally connected in terms of economic viability and growth.
This commitment will make a major contribution to the Government's purpose of making Scotland a more successful country, with opportunities for all to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth.
Improvements to our digital infrastructure are essential if we are to maintain and improve the ability of our businesses to compete in a global market place; be successful in attracting inward investment; transform the delivery of public services; respond to the challenges of a low carbon economy and have vibrant, strong and connected communities in our cities, towns and rural areas.
This plan is about the whole of Scotland both in terms of geography and people, and it is clear that all of Scottish society will benefit from world-class digital access. The plan is also, therefore, about partnership and creating a shared vision of a connected Scotland which the Scottish Government, local government and the wider public and private sector can unite behind and collaborate to deliver. Together we should seek to achieve our goals as a nation while ensuring that everyone receives a fair and equitable return on their investment and that local circumstances can be taken into account.
We have listened to those in industry who want Government to lead the way in setting out a clear long term framework for Scotland within which they can confidently invest. We are determined that the approach we take will deliver the best outcomes for Scotland in the most cost effective manner; ensuring that best value is secured from every public pound spent, and learning from the experience of others to ensure that we do this right. Our partnership approach will be based on these principles.
To date, we have gathered a lot of evidence, carried out extensive consultation with industry, taken advice from well respected experts in the field and learned from international best practice. We will continue to do this as it is critical that the detail of our plan remains dynamic and continues to evolve to keep pace with developments, and be adaptable to changing demand.
Alex Neil MSP - Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment