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Scotland seeks OK for £75m broadband network - for TV distribution

Scotland may soon get a £75m digital network to help boost video-on-demand distribution of Scottish television material.

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Scotland may soon get a £75m digital network to help boost video-on-demand distribution of Scottish television material.

The Scottish government yesterday submitted a formal expression of interest to the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport to establish the Scottish Digital Network (SDN) to deliver local television services in Scotland.

Scottish culture minister Fiona Hyslop told the Scottish Parliament the network in Scotland would be funded from the television licence fee.

The network would also encourage take-up of high-speed broadband, a viability report said. "New and attractive forms of Scottish content could drive take-up, just as the Scottish government is seeking to lead the UK in connectivity," it said.

The report found Scotland faces acute problems with social and geographic exclusion. "A range of attractive content and services linked to the SDN will help to get all of Scotland connected and participating in the benefits of the digital age," it said.

At 61%, Scotland has the lowest level of broadband penetration in the UK, and take-up in Glasgow and parts of the surrounding area is significantly lower at 53%, the report says.

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