Aberdeenshire Council is issuing broadband survey postcards to all addresses within the area as part of the council’s work with Scottish Government to access funding to improve the region’s broadband coverage.
The local authority has already agreed to contribute up to £18million to improve broadband services in the area but it must provide evidence of demand from residents and businesses in order to be in the best position to access additional funding from the Scottish Government.
Residents are being urged to complete and return the postcards to demonstrate that demand exists by Thursday, February 28.
Within the UK, rural Scotland’s broadband services are amongst the poorest and in Aberdeenshire, 17% of all addresses have no broadband connection because of infrastructure constraints. This is insufficient to undertake many essential applications such as remote working, online health consultations and video streaming.
A further 80% of addresses do not enjoy service speeds greater than 6Mbps (Megabits per second).
The Scottish Government has begun a procurement programme to deliver upgraded infrastructure capable of delivering broadband speeds of at least 24Mbps to 75% of premises in each local authority area by the end of 2015, and a basic service of 2Mbps to the remaining 25%. Aberdeenshire Council will focus its resources on increasing the minimum speed beyond 2Mbps to prevent further widening of the digital divide.
In addition, the council will invest £2million alongside Aberdeen City Council towards superfast broadband services around the western boundary of Aberdeen and Westhill. Completed postcards must be returned by February 28. No stamp is required.