Scotland offers rates relief to boost full fibre for business

Telecommunications firms are to benefit from 100% non-domestic rates relief on new fibre broadband infrastructure in Scotland to help them make the business case for installations, the Scottish government has revealed

The rates relief for businesses investing in new infrastructure, which comes into effect on 1 April, will last for 10 years - five years longer than the UK government’s fibre broadband package.

Connectivity minister Paul Wheelhouse said: ‘Infrastructure and connectivity are fundamental to creating digitally-enabled growth in our economy so I am delighted to announce that from 1 April, we will provide non-domestic rates relief on all newly laid fibre. This significant commitment will help create long-term skilled jobs and make Scotland the best place to invest in digital infrastructure in the UK.’

The Scottish government has set a target of ensuring access to a minimum of superfast broadband for each and every premises in Scotland.

Elaine Doherty, city development manager for CityFibre in Stirling, said: ‘This announcement by the Scottish government demonstrates its support for full fibre, as well as its commitment to supporting us as we deliver state-of-the-art networks at scale.

‘The roll-out of our multi-million-pound network upgrades in Stirling, Edinburgh and Aberdeen are gathering momentum and users are already seeing benefits such as download speeds 20 times faster and upload speeds 150 times faster than the average connection.

‘Full fibre is the gateway to increasing economic growth by stimulating business innovation and productivity, creating jobs, increasing property values and more.’

Report by Pat Sweet

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