Gigabit plans for ScotlandGulistan Ladha
Under Project Gigabit which was announced today, the UK government has pledged a further £2 million to extend investment to NHS Scotland sites in isolated areas of the country.
91 GP surgeries and community hospitals in rural parts of Scotland – including remote island services on Arran, Jura, Lewis, Mull, Shetland and Orkney – will benefit from gigabit broadband upgrades. A further £1 million has also been pledged to extend full fibre to even more schools, hospitals and doctors’ surgeries across the Highlands. Public buildings will have faster internet speeds from a £7.3 million total investment through the government’s Local Full Fibre Networks scheme. In the northern isles of Yell and Unst in Shetland, work as part of a £2 million project to connect 21 schools, council buildings and other public sites to fibre broadband has now been completed. Up to 37 sites are expected to receive connections in March with all due to completed by March 2022.
Over £15 million has already been invested to provide gigabit-capable connections with local authorities and other public bodies in Scotland. In February it was announced that the first tranche of funding from Project Gigabit will be spent in central Scotland: £4.5 million to upgrade 5,300 homes and businesses that were due to get superfast through the Scottish Government’s ‘Reaching 100%’ (R100) programme but will now get even faster gigabit connections. Both governments are working closely together to scope how Project Gigabit will work in the rest of Scotland, including an assessment of its distinct characteristics and the challenges this could pose to delivery, and consideration for how it will align with the R100 programme. Projects will be developed jointly through a collaborative approach, in which the Scottish Government is expected to be the lead partner on implementation management on behalf of DCMS.