High-speed web bill would be £1.2m in East Dunbartonshire

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A PLEA to chip in £1.2m for high-speed Internet connections in East Dunbartonshire has been snubbed by a cash-strapped council.

The Scottish Government wants three-quarters of all homes and businesses to have Next Generation Broadband (NGB) coverage by 2015.

It is estimated that East Dunbartonshire will meet that target – through coverage from the many private suppliers and support from the Government if needed.

However, aspirations to have 85 per cent of local homes covered by NGB would need a significant sum from East Dunbartonshire Council.

The £1.2m price-tag is too pricey for the authority, which needs to save £7million over the next two years.

The council’s policy and resources committee recently voted to reject a request from the Scottish Government.

Head of development and enterprise, Thomas Glen, confirmed: “The council has already made an indirect contribution as part of a £40m contribution to the national NGB funding resource from local authorities’ share of national capital budget allocations.

“East Dunbartonshire currently has a relatively high quality of broadband coverage and, according to the 2011 Ofcom report, was rated second best local authority in Scotland for broadband.

“It is expected that the four main towns will meet the initial shared commitment of the Scottish Government and COSLA to have 75 per cent broadband coverage in all premises.

“Coverage levels are being finalised by the Scottish Government and broadband operators. The council agreed that if there were changes to coverage this would be reported back to committee.”

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