The Scottish Government has launched an initiative that will enable telecommunications firms to benefit from a 100% non-domestic rates relief on fibre broadband infrastructure projects.
The rates relief for business investment in new infrastructure, which is scheduled to begin on the 1st of April, will last for 10 years – five years longer than the UK Government’s own fibre broadband package.
It is hoped that the initiative will help firms make the business case to install next-generation digital infrastructure across the country.
Connectivity Minister Paul Wheelhouse announced the rates relief during a visit to a CityFibre excavation in Stirling.
During his visit, the minister saw some of the groundbreaking work already underway to help enhance Scotland’s broadband infrastructure.
“We have been listening to industry on what will help them play their part in delivering our ambitions and are determined that Scotland continues to be at the forefront of the digital revolution,” he said.
“Infrastructure and connectivity are fundamental to creating digitally-enabled growth in our economy so I am delighted to announce that from the 1st April, we will provide non-domestic rates relief on all newly laid fibre.
“This significant commitment will help create long-term skilled jobs and make Scotland the best place to invest in digital infrastructure in the UK.”
The new rates relief complements the Scottish Government’s efforts to invest in digital infrastructure across the country.
As part of the Reaching 100%, or R100 programme, Holyrood is investing more than £600 million to ensure a minimum of superfast broadband for every premises in Scotland.
CityFibre’s city development manager, Elaine Doherty, said the announcement demonstrates the Scottish Government’s support for both Scottish citizens and telecoms infrastructure firms.
“This announcement by the Scottish Government demonstrates its support for full fibre, as well as its commitment to supporting us as we deliver state-of-the-art networks at scale,” she said. “Measures such as this ensure that Scotland continues to be an attractive place for private investment so that residents and businesses can all receive the benefits of full fibre.
“Full fibre is the gateway to increasing economic growth by stimulating business innovation and productivity, creating jobs, increasing property values and more.”