Scottish fibre infrastructure still worries local businesses, poll finds

Broadband rated as more important than transport, taxes and housing


Scottish IT decision makers remain sceptical about the effectiveness of the country’s broadband infrastructure, according to a YouGov poll commissioned for fibre infrastructure provider CityFibre.

Forty percent of the 100 'decision makers' surveyed said that they had “regular concerns” about Internet infrastructure having some impact on their company while 42 percent believed it would affect their ability to grow.

Seven out of ten said it would affect customer service while nearly half thought that the state of Internet infrastructure would affect their decisions on technology business investment, for example in cloud services.

Six out of ten (61 percent) rated fast broadband as important for economic and business growth, ahead of factors such as reduced taxes (48 percent), and increased housing availability (23 percent).  Surprisingly, it even beat improved national transport links (59 percent),

“Scotland is a vital part of the UK economy. Regions like Aberdeen, Edinburgh and others are powerhouses of important industries like oil and gas and financial services,” said CityFibre’s city development manager James McClafferty.

“Such areas are in desperate need of cutting edge technology in order to carry out their day-to-day business. More importantly they need the network infrastructure to support it.”

In March CityFibre and Scottish partner Commsworld announced plans to build a 150km fibre network in and around Edinburgh which the firm claims will rival urban networks anywhere in the world. Smaller fibre networks have already been built by the pair in Aberdeen, York, Peterborough, and Coventry.

“We would encourage all business in Edinburgh to join our Gigabit revolution and sign up to be amongst the first to benefit from these services,” said McClafferty.

The survey showed that businesses saw a direct link between the state of broadband communications in a city and business prospects and productivity. The firms hope to attract many from the 7,000 businesses in Edinburgh that will be within range of the new Gigabit network.

Separately, Ofcom last week demanded that BT allow its rivals to access it nertwork of unlit 'dark' fibre as a mechanicm to speed up the deployment of fibre around the UK.

“What CityFibre is bringing to Edinburgh is a game changer that future proofs the city for decades to come and offers the chance for substantial economic growth as well as a list of other business and social benefits,” said  CommsWorld CEO, Richard Nicol.

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