Scottish National Investment Bank invests £20m to tackle digital inequality

The Scottish National Investment Bank has committed £20 million in seed funding to help tackle digital inequality in rural communities and small towns across Scotland.

The funding commitment comes on top of a new £5m investment from current Lothian Broadband Group (LBG) shareholders – part of the group’s plan to invest £75m to connect over 70,000 new locals across Scotland over the next four years.

LBG has already invested to bring full fiber broadband across East Lothian.

The new funds will enable the group to expand its geographic ambitions, driving further operational scaling and accelerated fiber rollout in 2022.

Eilidh Mactaggart, Chief Executive of the Scottish National Investment Bank, said: “This investment will support improved digital connectivity in rural and semi-rural areas of Scotland, helping to tackle inequalities in access to digital infrastructures outside our towns and cities. .”

Gavin Rodgers, Managing Director of LBG, said: “The support of the Scottish National Investment Bank allows us to continue our rapid ramp-up as we establish the main platform for the deployment of fiber to the premises. for rural communities and small towns in Scotland.

“This new investment supports LBG’s commitment to building quality digital infrastructure and our inclusive, community-based approach to every village and town we serve.”

The bank’s investment supports the UK and Scottish governments’ commitments to high-speed broadband access.

The UK government is aiming for at least 85% of the population to have access to gigabit broadband (1,000 Mbps) by 2025 as part of its national infrastructure strategy.

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