Digital Scotland

On 11th November 2009 the Communications Consumer Panel and Consumer Focus Scotland held a joint seminar to consider the implications of key aspects of the Digital Britain report for citizens and consumers in Scotland.

The recommendations of the final Digital Britain report include:

  • a commitment to delivering 2MB/s broadband for all by 2012
  • proposals for the roll out of next generation broadband to at least 90% of the UK by 2017
  • a proposed campaign to increase digital participation and help people attain the confidence and skills to make use of the benefits broadband can bring.

Scotland has some of the highest levels of digital exclusion in the UK and these recommendations have the potential to play a significant role in tackling that exclusion. However, it is still not clear exactly how implementation of the report's recommendations will work in Scotland.

About 20 senior Scottish policy makers attended this round table seminar to discuss how the potential benefits for Scottish citizens and consumers can be realised. The seminar addressed the following key questions:

  • Do citizens and consumers in Scotland have specific needs and if so, what can be done to make sure those needs are met?
  • How well do current delivery plans in Scotland meet these needs and what needs to change?
  • Are there specific issues surrounding the implementation of the digital communications proposals in a devolved nation? How might these impact on consumers?

The session was chaired by Fiona Ballantyne, Scottish Representative, Communications Consumer Panel. Speakers included:

  • Trisha McAuley, Interim Senior Director, Consumer Focus Scotland
  • Peter Peacock, MSP for the Highlands and Islands
  • Dominic Morris, Strategic Director, Digital Britain, BIS/Culture

A summarised report of the meeting and accompanying letter has been sent to the Scottish Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism Jim Mather MSP to underline the importance of engagement with the UK Government and Scottish stakeholders, and to argue the urgent need for the development of a Digital Strategy for Scotland and a joined up approach to delivering Digital Britain in the devolved context.

Click on the links to download a report summarising the discussion (PDF 146KB, opens in a new window) at the event and a copy of Trisha McAuley's presentation (PDF 544KB, opens in a new window).

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