Satellite broadband to help hard-to-reach Scottish communities

The UK Government has announced plans to use satellite dishes to boost broadband speeds in remote parts of Scotland.
The UK Government has announced plans to use satellite dishes to boost broadband speeds in remote parts of Scotland.

Homes and businesses in some of the most remote and hard to reach areas of Scotland can now get a discounted satellite broadband connection if they are currently unable to obtain an affordable broadband service of at least 2 Mbps.

The scheme forms part of the UK Government’s commitment to make sure every home and business in the UK can access speeds of at least 2 Mbps and an estimated 300,000 properties across the UK are able to make use of the offer.

The current rollout of superfast broadband is on track to deliver coverage to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017 and has already reached an extra 550,000 homes and businesses in Scotland.

However the UK Government has now stepped in to help those with the slowest connections by providing an immediate boost to their available speeds ahead of any future improvements planned.

The initiative will be administered by Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, who will provide a code to eligible homes and businesses upon request.

They can use the code with one of a selected number of retail service providers to obtain a subsidised satellite broadband service, including a free satellite dish and installation in most cases.

It’s thought the use of the code will cut the total cost of installation, commissioning and 12-monthly subscriptions by around £350.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “Around nine out of ten homes and businesses in the UK can now access superfast speeds. We are making great progress rolling out new infrastructure, but it’s a massive engineering project and won’t happen overnight.

“The satellite scheme offers immediate assistance to those homes and businesses in Scotland with the slowest speeds, all part of our plan to make the UK one of the most digitally connected places in the world.”

Those benefitting from the scheme are able to choose the features of the satellite broadband service they require, dependent on their broadband needs.

More information on the operation of the scheme in Scotland can be found on the Broadband Programme website at http://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/where-when/the-programme/national-satellite-broadband-scheme/.