Poor broadband connections in rural Scotland is seeing people move out of rural areas to try and get better and faster broadband connections.
In a Rural Affairs Committee meeting the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment in the Scottish Government, Richard Lochhead, said:
“While you have traditional conversations about people leaving rural communities due to lack of access to higher education, affordable housing or employment, now there is an added factor where there is not good connectivity that can also lead to rural depopulation.”
The Highlands and Islands Enterprise is expecting to achieve 84% broadband coverage by 2016 but to extend this to even more places then more funding will be required.
For Scotland as a whole it is expected that BT is going to achieve around 95% coverage based on what they have achieved in Cornwall and elsewhere, however it is still going to be the Highlands and Islands which are going to be the struggle due to how remote they are.
BT has announced 47 Scottish communities that are to receive an upgrade to their broadband which will see faster broadband for over 180,000 homes and businesses.
BT are to upgrade the 47 communities with next generation copper broadband which will see broadband speed up to 20Mb being made available to those whose exchange is upgraded. This upgrade is not a fibre broadband upgrade that is being done across other parts of the country but it will still see the broadband speeds of over 180,000 homes and businesses increase hopefully by over double!
Earlier this month the plans for 695,500 homes and businesses in Scotland to receive super fast fibre broadband were announced and should see this rolled out by the end of 2012.
The areas to receive the upgraded copper network are:
- Angus – Kirriemuird, Monifieth.
- Ayrshire – Girvan, Maybole, Stewarton, Alloway.
- Borders – Hawick and Selkirk.
- Clackmannanshire – Alva.
- Dumfries & Galloway – Stranraer.
- East Lothian – Haddington.
- East Renfrewshire – Eaglesham.
- Fife – Anstruther, Ladybank, Burntisland, Kennoway, Ballingry, Cowdenbeath, Newport/Wormit, Kelty.
- Grampian – Huntly, Kintore/TRS, Lossiemouth, Bucksburn, Banchory, Culter, Peterhead, Portlethen.
- Highland – Alness, Dingwall, Grantown-on-Spey, Invergordon, Fort William, Oban.
- Orkney Islands – Kirkwall.
- Perthshire – Stanley, Bridge of Earn.
- Shetland Isles – Lerwick.
- Stirlingshire – Bridge of Allan.
- Strathclyde – Maryhill, Springburn, Bishopbriggs, Busby and Stepps.
- West Lothian – Armadale, West Calder, Fauldhouse.