The Scottish Government has published a new Public Review (PR) consultation for Scotland, which reveals that some 447,170 premises might need state aid help under the UK Government’s £5bn Project Gigabit broadband rollout scheme in order to access 1Gbps speeds (rising to 1,281,434 if including ‘Under Review‘ premises).

The project, which is targeted at upgrading areas in the final 20% of the UK (5-6 million premises) where commercial investment models tend to fail, seeks to ensure that a minimum of 85%+ of UK premises can access a gigabit-capable broadband ISP connection by the end of 2025, before reaching “nationwide” coverage (realistically c.99%) by the end of 2030 (here and here).

NOTE: Commercial builds – mostly in urban areas – have largely already pushed gigabit coverage to around 70% of Scotland and rising (mix of FTTP and Hybrid Fibre Coax).

However, the first step – before procurements can begin and contracts be awarded to suppliers – is to identify precisely which areas are not expected to benefit from gigabit speeds under existing commercial builds, which covers related plans for the next 3 years. This is known as an Open Market Review (OMR). Only once you have the answer to that, can you identify where public funding will be needed to help address market failure.

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