Monday, March 26, 2012

Scottish Parliament - Committee report on broadband infrastructure published calling for greater ambition and focus on rural areas

Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee of the Scottish Parliament has published its report on Broadband Infrastructure in Scotland (SP Paper 104).

It recommended that
  • public investment should only be made where it is clear there is potential for the market to deliver;
  • the Scottish Government’s broadband targets for 2020 must be more ambitious in order to ensure that rural areas in Scotland are not left further behind, and need to offer greater clarity to local communities and businesses about the level of broadband service that they can expect for their areas in the future;
  • aggregation of services to make them more commercially attractive should be balanced with the need to maintain flexibility to address local requirements;
  • the chosen infrastructure solutions must be future-proofed, and although any procurement specification should be technology-neutral, it must emphasise the need for a mixed-technology approach for Scotland;
  • the BDUK Mobile Infrastructure Project4 to eradicate mobile ‘not-spots’ and the 4G auction will be crucial and they must result in a substantial increase in mobile coverage in Scotland;
  • to encourage innovation, any barriers created by the regulatory and planning frameworks should be identified and removed wherever possible, and the ‘seed fund’ should utilise the expertise and experience of the industry; and
  • efforts to increase broadband take-up should be targeted at those groups or geographical areas where take-up has so far been particularly low, such as the over-55s, small and medium-sized businesses, and parts of Glasgow; and
  • the implementation and delivery of the Scottish Government’s Action Plan is crucial and the Committee intends to monitor its progress

No comments:

Post a Comment