Scottish Digital Economy Plan Hinges on Broadband

The Scottish Government has outlined its “plans and ambitions" for the country’s digital economy in a document entitled A Digital Ambition for Scotland (PDF).

The aim of the plan is to boost job opportunities, promote the country’s “rich cultural assets,” and move more public services online. To do this, Scotland proposes that the proliferation of next-generation broadband become more widespread by 2015, and available to all citizens by 2020.

Scotland stated that “fit-for-purpose” broadband would play an “instrumental role” in the country’s digital economy. Figures cited in the report paint Scotland’s current broadband penetration as lagging, with only 61% of the population on a fat pipe, 10% below the UK average of 71%, though it was noted that “this is not directly related to broadband availability.”

Many Scots, it was stated, “do not have the inclination or opportunity to use” broadband.

TIGA, while recommending that the Scots implement Games Tax Relief for local developers, said that more widespread broadband could help increase education and training.

TIGA Chief Dr. Richard Wilson added:

Provision of high speed broadband could also help the Scottish video games industry. The trend towards digital distribution means that there is a need for increased bandwidth if more people in Scotland are to be able to play and download high quality video games.

The Scottish government said it would follow the recently released report with a “more detailed strategy and action plan” over the next three months.

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