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05/02/17 09:00

Pitlochry Cabinet

Cabinet meeting and public discussion in Pitlochry.

More than 700,000 homes and business are now connected to fibre broadband thanks to the Scottish Government’s Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme.

The Scottish Government is on track and on budget to meet its target to extend broadband to 95% of premises by the end of 2017.

The news comes ahead of the Cabinet meeting and public discussion in Pitlochry tomorrow (Monday), focussed on the rural economy, with over 250 people expected to attend to quiz the First Minister and Cabinet Secretaries on issues facing the town and surrounding areas.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, more and more towns like Pitlochry now have fibre broadband available.

“The programme has now connected broadband to 700,000 homes and businesses - 13,400 in Perthshire North and 1950 in Pitlochry - that would just not have access without our intervention.

“There is still more to do to make Scotland a world-class digital nation by 2020. The current programme is on track and we will extend superfast broadband access to all premises across Scotland by 2021, with £51 million earmarked in the next year as the starting point for delivery.

“It is this kind of ambitious intervention, delivered in partnership with industry, that contributes to sustainable economic growth in rural Scotland. Improving our infrastructure and increasing our digital capability is vital to rural development and enabling innovation and growth.

“While we are seeking to protect and grow the economy, rural Scotland faces great uncertainty in the wake of the vote to leave the EU, so tomorrow’s public discussion in Pitlochry is a chance for people to air their views on what more can be done in this context to allow rural areas to thrive. We’ll listen to people’s views and use the feedback to shape our policy decisions to build a more inclusive and prosperous country.”