Scotland told to "cheer up" about broadband funding

By Dawinderpal Sahota
23 Aug 2011 View Comments
Depressed man

The Scottish government has been told to "cheer up" after being told it would be allocated just £68.8m from the £530m Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) fund to roll out broadband in rural Scotland.

Scottish infrastructure secretary Alex Neil said he was "disappointed with the allocation".

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"This announcement from the UK government has fallen short of the expectations of the Scottish economy to the overall costs of broadband rollout in the remote and rural parts of Scotland," said Neil, according to the Press Association.

However, the £68.8m figure is £25m more than Scotland would have received if it had been calculated on the basis of population share using the Barnett formula; a mechanism used by the UK Treasury to adjust the amounts of public expenditure allocated to UK states.

In light of this, Scottish secretary Michael Moore said that the Scottish government needs to be more upbeat about the funding it has been allocated.

"It takes a rather sour outlook to turn nearly £70m into a setback. Cheer up for goodness' sake and get on with delivering the improvements to our rural communities," said Moore.

"Instead of looking for the negative, they should step up and meet the challenge of matching UK government investment in broadband for our rural communities. If they do that, we can move towards achieving the target of 90 per cent of Scottish premises having superfast broadband – and everyone having access to at least 2Mbit/s – by 2015."

"If they don't invest, then they will be failing Scotland's rural communities and businesses," added Moore.

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