Glasgow Housing Association to embark on £20m broadband rollout

By Gareth Morgan
07 Oct 2011 View Comments
George Square Glasgow

The UK’s largest social landlord, Glasgow Housing Association (GHA), is to spend £20m over the next three years tackling digital exclusion by installing broadband at 30,000 homes in the city.

GHA plans to install broadband at 10,000 homes a year for the next three years.

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The broadband scheme is a vital part of wider efforts taking place in conjunction with Glasgow City Council, the Scottish government and the NHS to tackle digital exclusion in the city, Margaret Moore, GHA's assistant director of community partnerships, told Computing.

"Promoting digital inclusion will help improve eduational attainment among our tenants, particularly young people," she said.

"It will also increase our tenants' prospects for employment by giving them easier access to job adverts and the ability to work from home," added Moore.

Currently, only 58 per cent of Glasgow properties have broadband access, according to figures from telecoms regulator Ofcom – far lower than the national average of nearly 70 per cent.

Ofcom’s figures also include business premises, which are generally more likely to have broadband links than residential properties. Consequently the proportion of Glasgow homes without broadband access is likely to lower than Ofcom’s figures indicate.

Annie McGovern, digital policy expert at pressure group Consumer Focus Scotland said the initiative was much needed in Glasgow where, according to its research, fewer than half of all homes have broadband access.

"This is a fantastic initiative for people in Glasgow. At the moment many vulnerable people find it difficult to access the increasing range of public services that are being delivered via the web," she told Computing.

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