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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-18327

  • Asked by: Douglas Lumsden, MSP for North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 25 May 2023
  • Current status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 21 June 2023


To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to monitor and evaluate the impact of full fibre roll-out on digital poverty levels.


The Scottish Household Survey 1 is published annually and contains statistics on internet access and use by a number of categories. The publication contains statistics covering internet access by household income, Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) quintile, tenure, and urban-rural classification, as well as internet usage by age, disability, household income, and SIMD quintile. Additionally, the publication contains information on access to smart appliances, methods of access (e.g. smartphone, tablet, personal computer, laptop etc.), and confidence in using the internet by age and tenure

Furthermore, the Scottish Government is taking forward evaluations of digital infrastructure projects which will enable understanding of the impacts of investment. We have published the Digital Appraisal Manual for Scotland 2 and, informed by this guidance, are taking forward evaluations of the Scottish 4G Infill Programme, and R100 Programme. Evaluations will involve research engaging with affected areas and communities, and allow for gathering of evidence on how people and businesses are using this infrastructure, the associated benefits (e.g. productivity, wellbeing, environmental), and barriers to access.

By embedding best practice in appraisal and evaluation in digital policy making in Scotland, we will not only be able to monitor the effectiveness of our investments as impacts materialise, but we will also be best placed to refine our evidence base and develop effective policies in future.

1. Scottish Household Survey: publications - (

2. Digital appraisal manual for Scotland: guidance - (