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Sun June 16 2019

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Scotland sets out plan to boost broadband infrastructure

24 Mar Plans have been announced for a new initiative to help deliver more broadband infrastructure in Scotland.

Connectivity minister Paul Wheelhouse visited a CityFibre excavation in Stirling
Connectivity minister Paul Wheelhouse visited a CityFibre excavation in Stirling

Telecoms firms will be able to make use of 100% non-domestic rates relief on new fibre broadband infrastructure to help them make the business case for installations.

The rates relief for businesses investing in new infrastructure, which comes into effect on 1 April, will last for ten years. The Scottish government said that this is five years longer than the UK government’s fibre broadband package.

Connectivity minister Paul Wheelhouse visited a CityFibre excavation in Stirling to announce the rates relief and see some of the work already under way.

He said: “We have been listening to industry on what will help them play their part in delivering our ambitions and are determined that Scotland continues to be at the forefront of the digital revolution.

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“Infrastructure and connectivity are fundamental to creating digitally-enabled growth in our economy so I am delighted to announce that from 1 April, we will provide non-domestic rates relief on all newly laid fibre. This significant commitment will help create long-term skilled jobs and make Scotland the best place to invest in digital infrastructure in the UK.”

Wheelhouse added: “I hope that businesses will take advantage of this relief, increasing their investment in Scotland whilst contributing to inclusive growth in Scotland’s economy.”

Elaine Doherty, city development manager for CityFibre in Stirling, added: "The roll-out of our multi-million-pound network upgrades in Stirling, Edinburgh and Aberdeen are gathering momentum and users are already seeing benefits such as download speeds 20 times faster and upload speeds 150 times faster than the average connection. Full fibre is the gateway to increasing economic growth by stimulating business innovation and productivity, creating jobs, increasing property values and more."

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