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First or Last? Rural Broadband in Scotland

Fast broadband connections are increasingly important for business and for managing daily life. This is just as true in rural areas as in urban ones. Yet much of Scotland gets very poor connections and some areas are “not spots” with no connectivity at all. Scotland’s mountainous terrain and scattered rural population make it especially challenging to provide fast broadband. These populations are underserved by digital communications as well as by mobile connections because they are not profitable for Internet Service Providers to connect. However, it is arguable that they need good communications more than urban areas.

Rural areas support a range of businesses, mostly very small in scale. 90 per cent of rural businesses in the UK are micro businesses – that is they have less than 10 employees. They might consist of one man and his dog (or indeed one woman and her dog). Even if these businesses are successful, they do not have a lot of money to throw around.

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