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To ask the Scottish Government (a) how it is accessing and (b) how much it is able to access from funds allocated by the EU to support broadband in isolated and rural communities in line with Article 174 of the Treaty of Lisbon.


Answered by John Swinney (25/11/2015):

The Scottish Government is keen to maximise the amount of EU funds available to support broadband deployment in rural communities.

EU funding is primarily being accessed through the European Structural and Investment Funds. We will continue to explore any additional EU funding opportunities for broadband that emerge alongside these.

The Scottish Government accessed approximately £12 million from the 2007-13 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme to help deliver the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband project, which is extending broadband access to rural areas. We have also allocated up to £21 million from the 2014-20 ERDF programme to support new digital infrastructure projects.

The Scottish Government is also using around £3.3 million from the 2014-2020 European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development as part of the projected £9 million Broadband scheme included as part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme. This scheme is being administered by Community Broadband Scotland and will support delivery of their pipeline of aggregated community projects.


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 25/11/2015
 
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