New report looks at reality of Scotland's broadband rollout header image

Published: 2nd Mar 2015

Concerns have been raised about the clarity and feasibility of information regarding the rollout of high-speed broadband to homes and businesses throughout Scotland.

Audit Scotland has published a new report looking at the reality of the speeds promised by the government and network providers.

BT has been appointed to work on two separate contracts by the Scottish government and the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to deliver super-fast broadband to residents and firms based in the country, but officials are worried that people will be left disappointed by the speeds they can actually access.

The high-profile rollout projects are designed to deliver web loading speeds of between 40 and 80Mbps, but analysis from Audit Scotland points out that despite being widely advertised, these will not be available to all premises in the region.

Those behind the delivery initiatives have not revealed what speeds individuals can actually expect to experience, leaving many in the dark about the reality of the situation.

Scotland is currently waiting on BT to complete essential survey work before the official loading speeds can be announced, although it has been promised that between 85 and 90 per cent of the country's properties will be able to access the super-fast network by March 2016.

Therefore, this leaves just 12 months for the government and the HIE to meet this target, before they are meant to begin work on making sure 95 per cent of premises can connect to the high-speed technology by 2017.

Auditor general for Scotland Caroline Gardner commented: "Being able to access super-fast broadband is increasingly important for homes and businesses. This investment by the public sector is intended to mainly benefit rural areas, where such access is currently either low or non-existent.

"Given the potential benefits, it's important that the Scottish government and HIE provide clear and regular updates on what coverage and speeds the broadband network will actually deliver as the installation progresses."

However, BT intended to have connected 57,000 properties to the technology by this stage in the programme, but it is already around 14,000 short of this target, further adding to concerns.

For those concerned or uncomfortable with the high-profile rollout, those based in more remote parts of Scotland, or those in the five per cent of homes and businesses not covered by the delivery projects, opting for an alternative measure such as satellite broadband could be a solution.

This type of connection is ideal for residents living in rural parts of the country, as no green roadside box is needed to link a home up with the internet, as the signal is instead beamed via satellite directly to the property.

What's more, it is not just households that can benefit from connecting to satellite broadband, as it is also an ideal solution for businesses.

If you'd like to find out more about how the innovative technology could benefit you, get in touch with one of the Avonline team today.