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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-10147: Mike Rumbles (North East Scotland)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 5 July 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what the average speed of broadband is in homes in Aberdeenshire, and how many homes have speeds of 30mbps or more.

Answered by: Fergus Ewing 31 July 2017

The Scottish Government does not hold information on the speeds being delivered by commercial suppliers. As such the Scottish Government does not hold information regarding the average speed of broadband in homes in Aberdeenshire.

As commercial delivery of broadband infrastructure does not utilise public funding, the Scottish Government, or any Government body, cannot require broadband suppliers to share information on what has been delivered commercially. If commercial suppliers were required to make such information public this would necessitate a change in legislation. Telecoms legislation is a matter reserved to the UK Government.

Only Ofcom, as UK Telecoms regulator, can require providers to supply information on what has been delivered commercially. Having collated information from suppliers, Ofcom produces the Connected Nations Report which provides information regarding broadband speeds across the country. Ofcom’s Connected Nations Report 2016 indicated that speeds of 30 Mbps or above were available to 83% of premises in Scotland, with 68% of premises in Aberdeenshire capable of accessing superfast broadband. We continue to engage with Ofcom to better understand their approach to verifying and testing broadband speed information across Scotland.

The Scottish Government does however hold detailed information on the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, into which Scottish Government, alongside our partners, has invested over £400 million. The programme has helped connect 70,724 premises in Aberdeenshire, 58,956 of which are capable of accessing superfast speeds.