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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-22348: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 25 March 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is regarding increasing coverage in cities as part of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme.

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 25 April 2019

The vast majority of premises in Scotland’s cities can access fibre broadband, with coverage as high as 99.3% in Dundee and 98.6% in Edinburgh.

EU State Aid legislation requires public funding for broadband deployment only to be used in areas of market failure. In order for DSSB to be granted State Aid approval, it was necessary for the city centres of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow to be removed from the scope of the programme.

DSSB does, however, deploy to the wider city areas with around 30,500 premises in Aberdeen, 32,700 premises in Edinburgh and over 91,300 premises in Glasgow capable of accessing fibre broadband as a result of Scotland’s £400 million DSSB programme.

Dundee, Stirling, Inverness and Perth city centres are all within scope of the DSSB programme and across the Scottish Parliamentary region of Lothian, DSSB has been able to directly support access to fibre broadband to 62,944 premises and, among these, 61,282 are able to achieve speeds of 24 megabits per second or better.

In parallel with further deployment under DSSB, there continues to be significant private sector investment in broadband across Scotland’s cities with City Fibre, Virgin Media and Openreach prominent in delivery services in Edinburgh.