Scotland's enterprise minister, Jim Mather, has praised the country's use of local authority and regional development agencies to provide broadband in areas of poor coverage. Mather estimates that the method could add nearly £6bn to Scotland's economy by 2015 and is encouraging its adoption throughout the UK:
"When you look at the US and Canada, there is a very interesting pattern. Relatively small provinces such as Alberta or British Columbia are cracking on with their broadband deployments. By targeting specific areas, you actually improve broadband access faster."
The approached praised by Mather is technically nothing new and while it may help to solve Scotland's remaining broadband coverage problems, the rural/urban divide over performance (speed) may continue to widen. These days just getting people connected is simply not enough anymore.
The Scottish Parliament hopes to award a £3.5m contract next month to fill its broadband coverage gaps, which affect approximately 1% of Scotland, by the end of 2008.
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