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Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 24th February 2020.

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Photo of Martyn Day Martyn Day Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Public Health and Primary Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to roll-out gigabit broadband (a) in Linlithgow and East Falkirk constituency and (b) throughout Scotland.

Photo of Matt Warman Matt Warman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The government has made good progress in the constituency of Linlithgow and East Falkirk, with over £50 million of central government funding allocated to the Rest of Scotland project area. As a result, superfast coverage in the constituency now stands at 97.3% - up from 46.5% in March 2012 and compares favourably to the UK average of 96.5%. Full fibre coverage stands at 11.8%, above the Scottish average figure of 8.8%. In total, the government has invested over £100 million in improving Scotland’s broadband infrastructure.

There are three government funded Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) projects taking place in Scotland - Tay Cities, Shetlands Council and Highlands Council. Almost £12 million of central government funding is being invested to upgrade public sector assets with gigabit-capable infrastructure. These upgrades will then stimulate the market to invest commercially in the surrounding communities.

The Scottish Borderlands area is also a priority for the government’s £200 million Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme, which is upgrading public sector sites in rural areas with gigabit-capable networks. This programme also offers vouchers for rural customers, which can be used to contribute towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable infrastructure.

In addition, the government has pledged £5 billion to deliver gigabit-capable broadband to the most difficult to reach areas of the UK, including communities in Scotland.

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