Good Broadband More Important To Scottish Businesses Than Tax Cuts

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Edinburgh Carlton Hill Scotland © Keattikorn Shutterstock
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Scottish firms think broadband infrastructure is worse in Scotland than rest of UK

Just over half of Scottish businesses believe quality of broadband in the country is inferior to the rest of the UK, with a YouGov survey revealing that quality Internet is more important to companies north of the border than lower taxes or other infrastructure improvements.

Ninety-two percent of IT decision markers questioned said reliable, fast broadband is important to their company and it was the most commonly cited driver of businesses and economic growth, with 61 percent of respondents mentioning it as a factor.

Improved national transport links were cited by 59 percent, ahead of reduced taxes on 48 percent, international transport connections with 39 percent and increased construction of houses on 23 percent.

Scottish broadband

Forth Bridge Railway Scotland © Rob van Esch ShutterstockJust under two thirds said poor Internet would damage office productivity and 47 percent said it would influence their IT investments, particularly in the areas of cloud and VoIP. Forty-two percent said it would inhibit their ability to grow and 69 percent claimed it would reduce customer service standards.

The survey was commissioned by CityFibre, which is building a 1Gbps fibre to the premise network in Edinburgh. The network will eventually span 150 kilometres and the company, along with its partner CommsWorld, is targeting 7,000 businesses in the Scottish capital. CityFibre also operates a separate network in Aberdeen.

“Scotland is a vital part of the UK economy. Regions like Aberdeen, Edinburgh and others are powerhouses of important industries like oil and gas and financial services,” said James McClafferty, CityFibre’s city development manager. “Such areas are in desperate need of cutting edge technology in order to carry out their day-to-day business. More importantly they need the network infrastructure to support it.

Fibre rollout

“Through our ongoing work in Aberdeen and our plans to build one of the largest, most modern fibre networks in the world in Edinburgh, CityFibre is dedicated to ensuring the country is digitally future proofed for decades to come.”

The Digital Scotland partnership, funded by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), the Scottish Government, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has so far connected more than 1.5 million homes and businesses to fibre that would not have been otherwise covered by commercial deployments.

The majority of the UK’s superfast broadband infrastructure uses fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technology, which uses copper for the final few metres of the connection. FTTP uses fibre for the entire connection, boosting speeds.

However but rivals CityFibre, TalkTalk and Sky are working on rival FTTP infrastructure, while BT has plans to rollout speeds of 500Mbps using existing copper infrastructure thanks to G.Fast technology.

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