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July 10, 2013

BT Signs £264m Deal To Bring Broadband To 95 Percent Of Scotland

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BT and the Scottish government have agreed a £264 million deal to bring fibre broadband to 85 percent of properties in the country by 2015 and 95 percent by the end of 2017, with the help of funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).

BDUK is providing £50 million of the £157.6 million of public funding, which also includes £51 million supplied by 14 local authorities and BT is stumping up £106.7 million.

It is anticipated that around 600,000 homes and businesses will benefit from the agreement, many of whom would not be covered by the commercial rollout of fibre in Scotland.

SMBs in rural areas will be prioritised by the partnership in order to encourage economic growth in hard to reach areas.

It is predicated that the rollout will create £2 billion in economic benefits over 15 years, including 14,000 new jobs, while it is claimed it will improve social prosperity in Scotland.

Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “

Today’s announcement signals the start of one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in the whole of Europe, It will connect communities across rural and urban areas, providing a platform for future economic development and regeneration Next generation broadband enables businesses to compete on the international stage.  It has the potential to transform the way in which we educate our children, provide health and social care and deliver our public services.  It provides Scotland with a platform upon which we can build and sustain a world class digital country.”

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Scottish broadband investment

Earlier this year, BT and the Scottish government provided funding for a £146 million project to bring fibre to the Highlands and Islands, which brings the total investment in Scottish broadband to £410 million.

BT has so far won all of the money available under BDUK after Fujitsu withdrew from the procurement process earlier this year. This has led to questions about whether the initiative is providing the taxpayer with value for money, but BT is adamant that its experience and resources make it the ideal candidate to deliver such projects.

 Bill Murphy, BT managing director of Next Generation Access said

“We bring the benefits of economies of scale driving value for money, huge experience in deployment and working in partnership with publicly funded projects, and building open networks which offer internet users an array of choice in service providers and costs”.

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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini