Next generation broadband in rural Scotland: mobilising, meeting and anticipating demand

Skerratt, Sarah and Farrington, John and Ashmore (Heesen), Fiona (2012) Next generation broadband in rural Scotland: mobilising, meeting and anticipating demand. In: Rural Scotland in Focus 2012. Rural Policy Centre, Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh, pp. 70-85. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

There is no doubt that high-speed or next generation broadband is integral to social and economic development and to the delivery of Scotland’s National Outcomes in rural Scotland. However, despite strategies and investments since 1999, much of rural Scotland remains in the “final third” with “not-spots” and “twilight zones” hampering inclusion and development. Urban Scotland’s connectivity, meanwhile, is getting faster, faster. In fact, significant infrastructural investment, including by communities themselves, is required even to maintain the rural-urban digital divide.

Next generation broadband enables the realisation of commonly-accepted “rights” for Scotland’s citizens, irrespective of
location – and the role of next generation broadband in supporting the delivery of these rights is indisputable. Demand for next generation broadband is persistent and increasing amongst rural businesses and communities, from accessible to remoter areas. This demand for next generation broadband in rural Scotland, and the implications of not meeting it, means that partnership working and ongoing investment are becoming more critical. This is particularly so in times of efficiency budgeting and declining services experienced in many rural areas. National-level investment across Scotland remains essential. Communities, private and public sectors exchanging knowledge and experience - for example through Broadband Delivery UK, Scotland’s Infrastructure Investment Plan, and Scotland’s Digital Infrastructure Action Plan – are critical for rural communities and businesses to experience the advantages of a digital Scotland.

Additional Information:This publication can be accessed online at https://www.sruc.ac.uk/info/120485/thriving_communities_archive/466/2012_rural_scotland_in_focus_report
Keywords:Rural economy, digital divide, Scotland, Next Generation broadband
Subjects:L Social studies > L700 Human and Social Geography
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
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ID Code:30994
Deposited On:18 Oct 2018 14:54

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