The announcement today is a little unclear about where the money for broadband is going to come from in Scotland (a mix of Local Gov and Private Sector is all the announcement suggests), but it’s clear that the Scottish Government has woken up to the importance of broadband to the economy.
£500m is hardly an insignificant sum of money (compare this to the spend announced by Wales last week), but unfortunately the Scottish Government seem to have taken a leaf out of the Ofcom handbook for leading with a headline and not backing up the headline with anything of consequence.
There are no clues on speeds, nor are there any suggestions as to whether this is a complimentary sum to the BDUK funding that is already in the public domain.
Naturally, we can take a degree of satisfaction from the fact that there IS a degree of interest in the Scottish Government to deliver decent broadband to their nation, and all the benefits of that.
Outside of that it is pretty much without merit of any type to issue press releases that simply aim to get a headline reprinted. It has worked of course, but it needs backing up quickly with a clearer definition of what the announcement means, if it is not to be tarred with the same brush as every Ofcom announcement made on broadband, which is that the headline is the only piece of substance in the release, and the rest is meaningless cheerleading fluff.
We wish nothing, but the best for the Scots, nevertheless there is an uneasy feeling that this may just be a degree of politicking or ‘re-announcement’ of existing funding.
Let’s all hope not.