Welcome back! It’s been a very long time since we posted here but very pleased to report that our CPG has been re-convened for Session 4. At our AGM on 30 June we saw support from Patrick Harvie, Fiona McLeod and Rhoda Grant. We will continue with Willie Coffey as our convener and John Park has also agreed to remain as Deputy Convener. Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 14 September when we look forward to welcoming all our old members back as well as new ones who have asked to join over the last few months.
Digital issues now sit at the heart of the new Government and the impetus added with publicly available funding to support broadband rollout means that we will have plenty to discuss going forward. We are keen to look at our remit at the next meeting and take suggestions from members if there are other issues around we should be looking at or developments that members would like to hear more about.
One exciting new development in recent days has been the release of a new interactive map from Ofcom detailing broadband availability, take up and speed on a region by region basis and provides an overall rating for each area. An issue that was indentified very early on by the CPG was the lack of information at the regional level so this takes us a good step further towards understanding more about current provision and areas that require more thinking in terms of broadband solutions. Have a look at the map here: Ofcom Interactive Broadband Map
Some very interesting details are on the map. Edinburgh tops the whole of the UK for broadband speed at 10.1 Mbit/s and Scotland has fewer people receiving less than 2 Mbit/s than the rest of the UK nations, the Central Belt effect perhaps? On the other side of the coin, the Western Isles, the Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands sit at the bottom of the ratings list, however the stats do not include Connected Communities coverage or satellite broadband take up vis the Avanti scheme. Surprisingly, despite being central, Clackmannan rates near the bottom, backing up statements given at a recent event on next generation rollout that the Central Belt should also seek to access some of the support funding available. Ofcom say that this has been one of their most popular web features. Have a look and leave us a comment with any thoughts you have. We’d also be very pleased to showcase any projects that are happening here on the blog over the Summer while we await the end of recess and the chance to get stuck back in! Get in touch!