Feeds

Scottish gov moans over broadband cash handout

Gie us mair bawbees, oor internet's aye puggled

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

The Scottish government isn't happy about the trifling amount of cash UK.gov's culture secretary splashed on the rollout of broadband in that country yesterday.

Jeremy Hunt allocated £68.8m to Scotland from the £530m pot set aside as part of his ambitious plans to gift the UK with the fastest broadband network in Europe by 2015.

But the Tory MP's fibre-tastic future plan for Blighty was lambasted yesterday by Scotland's cabinet secretary for infrastructure and capital investment, Alex Neil.

"I am disappointed with the allocation from the UK government towards the Scottish government's ambition for rollout of next generation broadband across the whole of Scotland," he said in a statement on Tuesday.

He said the Scottish government, in line with Hunt's expectation that local authorities and the private sector would match the funding, would do its bit to invest in the rollout of broadband to more homes and businesses in the region.

"However, this announcement from the UK government has fallen short of the expectations of the Scottish economy to the overall costs of broadband rollout in the remote and rural parts of Scotland," said Neil.

"For instance the cost to deliver next generation broadband across the Highlands and Islands alone has been estimated at up to £300m, therefore we do not regard the UK government's allocation as a realistic contribution to meet Scotland's broadband requirements."

He then went on to add that people living in Scotland deserved the same access to high speed broadband connections as those citizens residing in the rest of the UK.

Neil also appeared confused about the remaining funds in the £530m broadband pot.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport confirmed to The Register yesterday that £430m had been handed over to authorities across Britain so far.

However, some of the final £100m from the £530m pot has been given to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which is tasked with allocating cash in the remaining hard-to-reach parts of the UK.

The DCMS added that part of the £100m figure had been set aside specifically as a "contingency fund".

So there really is little or no cash left from the existing funds allocated by UK.gov, following a BBC licence fee settlement.

The Scottish government might get something from Defra, but even if that happens it is likely there will be a broadband funding gap in the country.

Neil said he was writing to Hunt in an effort to "secure a better deal for Scotland".

As we noted yesterday, a further £300m has been earmarked for broadband rollout across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, that cash won't be skimmed off the licence fee settlement during this Parliament. And no decision has yet been made about how that money will be spent.

Meanwhile, Hollywood A-lister Brad Pitt is currently in Glasgow to film scenes for his new movie about a zombie apocalypse called World War Z. Presumably he'll try his best not to grumble about the slow broadband connections in the city... ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.