Broadband vouchers for underserved parts of Scotland

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 24 August 2020 in News

Businesses and homes in hard-to-reach areas will receive up to £5,000

Credit: Christiaan Colen/CC BY-SA 2.0

The Scottish Government will hand homes and businesses in hard-to-reach broadband areas with vouchers for up to £5,000 as part of plans to ensure 100% coverage by the end of 2021.

Under the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme, premises which are not in scope of either R100 contracts or planned commercial investment will be able to apply for support, with an online postcode checker used to provide information on eligibility.

Interim vouchers of up to £400 will also be available for premises where superfast broadband is planned for after the end of 2021, with an additional £250 for those in the hardest-to-reach areas.

Connectivity minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Digital connectivity has played a vital role in supporting our efforts to keep people safe during the COVID-19 lockdown and will be pivotal in plans for our strategic economic recovery from the pandemic.

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“Work is underway to build the infrastructure which will underpin R100, backed by Scottish Government funding of £579m. This, together with commercially driven work, will ensure the vast majority of homes and businesses across the country can access superfast broadband access by the end of 2021.

"But Scotland has some of the most challenging locations anywhere in Europe for providing telecoms infrastructure and I have always been clear that additional measures may still be needed to provide superfast access to some of the hardest-to-reach areas.

"That is why we have been developing plans in parallel with the main infrastructure investment to ensure our 100 per cent commitment is met, and the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme offering a level of funding far exceeding that of any other broadband voucher scheme currently in operation within the UK, will ensure that everyone can access and benefit from this world-leading digital capability.”


About the author

Liam Kirkaldy is online editor at PublicTechnology sister publication Holyrood, where this story first appeared. He tweets as @HolyroodLiam.


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