Call for views on Broadband Infrastructure in Scotland

The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee invites views in relation to its work on the availability and roll-out of broadband in Scotland.

The Committee has agreed, as a first step, to undertake a scoping exercise to identify the key issues relating to broadband in Scotland.  The exercise may result in the identification of issues which require immediate action or recommendations.  It may also raise issues that the Committee considers merit further, more detailed examination, which could be taken forward separately as inquiry topics in their own right.

The remit for the Committee’s scoping exercise is—

  • to assess the coverage, availability and uptake of broadband across Scotland;
  • to consider the ways in which different local areas are working to promote access to broadband in Scotland and how good practice might be shared; and
  • to consider what work is required by the Scottish Government, infrastructure providers and others in order to expand Scotland’s digital infrastructure.

The objectives for the exercise are—

  • to obtain a picture of broadband coverage across Scotland in order to highlight any areas where connectivity is low and to understand the reasons for this;
  • to examine different local projects currently engaged in promoting the availability and roll-out of broadband, with a view to highlighting examples of good practice, the variety of technological solutions being applied; identifying barriers and obstacles faced etc.;
  • to scrutinise the Scottish Government and its agencies’ progress towards meeting the commitment:
    • that next generation broadband will be available to all by 2020, with significant progress made by 2015,
    • that the rate of broadband uptake by people in Scotland should be at or above the UK average by 2013, and should be highest among the UK nations by 2015;
  • to consider what the Scottish Government’s strategic role in the development of broadband infrastructure should be; 
  • to assess Scotland’s progress in upgrading its digital infrastructure against the targets and objectives set by the European Union; and
  • to assess how opportunities to receive project funding from, for example, the UK Government and the European Union are being fully exploited.

Submitting your views to the Committee

The Committee invites views that are relevant to the remit and that will assist the Committee in meeting the objectives as outlined above.

Before making a submission, please read the Parliament’s policy on treatment of written evidence by subject and mandatory committees.

To allow the Committee to take account of any views received, submissions should be sent to the address below, no later than Friday 18 November.

Written submissions should be submitted electronically (preferably in Microsoft Word format) to—

ici.committee@scottish.parliament.uk

If you have any questions regarding the Committee’s work on broadband availability and roll-out in Scotland, please contact the Committee clerking team at the above e-mail address or on 0131 348 5244.