Alex Neil to meet Jeremy Hunt over Scottish broadband funding
The Scottish government's Alex Neil is set to meet with Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to discuss the super-fast broadband funding allocation for Scotland.
In comments reported by the Press Association, the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment said he believes Scotland was "short-changed" when the £530 million pot for broadband investment was divided up by Westminster last year.
A total of £68.8 million was allocated to Scotland, while Wales received £58 million to fund its broadband rollout.
Mr Neil, who was speaking at the Scottish National Party conference in Glasgow, said he will hold talks with Mr Hunt in an attempt to increase the country's allocation.
"They have now conceded that we did not get our fair share and I have a meeting fairly soon in London with Mr Hunt to ensure that we get it," he commented.
In its recently published broadband infrastructure investment plan, the Scottish Government pledged to ensure that 90 per cent of Scotland has access to super-fast broadband services by 2015.
The government also said it intends to deliver "world-class digital access" to the entire country by 2020.
"We've identified over £200 million of investment of public money and we are intending to use that money to leverage substantial additional private sector investment in the rural areas," Mr Neil explained.
Last week, BT announced that its super-fast broadband network had reached Dunblane.
The provider said almost 25,000 premises in Stirlingshire will have access to next-generation broadband by the end of this year, with Bannockburn next in line for the upgrade.
Broadband Delivery UK has set a target of brining super-fast broadband within reach of 90 per cent of people in the UK by 2015, while everyone in the country should have access to speeds of at least 2Mbps.