12 May 2011
Scotland Demands Better Broadband
Scotland’s urgent need for better broadband energised today’s NextGen Roadshow in Edinburgh, as over 170 delegates joined the debate on how best to turn Digital Britain plans from strategy into compelling reality.
Representatives from enterprise, public sector services, local government and communities from all parts of Scotland came together at the event, aimed at accelerating the deployment of local access networks for vastly better broadband in every Scottish community.
The Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering a Digital Scotland – enshrined in the Digital Futures Strategy – was fully reflected in the recent SNP manifesto. Today the Government has a clear mandate to now deliver on this strategy to provide enhanced broadband access countrywide.
“To compete in the 21st century we need to build a digitally skilled nation,” said ScotlandIS Director Polly Purvis, who co-hosted the event with the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE). She added: “Digital access and greater take-up of online services is a key component in delivering a digital Scotland and globally competitive connectivity must now be woven into the plans for every part of the Scottish economy and our community development.”
Among the leading industry organisations presenting to the capacity crowd at the Edinburgh NextGen Roadshow were Fujitsu, Draka, Avanti, BT and BDUK
– the organisation overseeing bids for central government funding support.
During the day delegates heard directly from those involved in planning and building next generation broadband schemes in rural areas of Scotland and from several operators representing a variety of technological and economic solutions. The choice and mix of next generation solutions will need to utilise all of the advances in wireless, satellite and fibre connectivity.
Geoffrey Boulton, General Secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh,
commented: “Concerted and immediate action is essential if all of Scotland is to compete and benefit from the digital economy.”
Speakers for the Edinburgh Roadshow, organised by NextGen events, also came from Sweden and the Netherlands to share their experiences of deploying advanced local broadband networks.
The NextGen Roadshow in Edinburgh served as the launch-pad for a series of events around the UK
– addressing both regional and national priorities.
The programme will conclude in November with a major two-day conference.
It was also announced that The NextGen Challenge
– the 2011 awards programme for innovation in local access networks – will also be held at this finale event.
Scotland’s Digital Futures Strategy
NextGen is the UK’s premier platform for knowledge transfer about digital access network investment and management. The NextGen 11 programme includes four roadshows across the UK and a full 2-day conference in November. This is the 4th year for the NextGen programme and delegate numbers are expected to continue to double year on year as the UK market grows.
NextGen is directed by Marit Hendriks and Andrew Macdonald under license from the Community Broadband Network (CBN). NG Events Ltd trading as NextGen is a not for profit initiative and is technology and supplier neutral. For more details, sponsors and supporters, see