Nearly 99% want faster broadband

Results from the Aberdeenshire council survey into broadband speeds have shown that nearly 99% of residents who responded wanted a faster service in the area.

The survey, carried out in January, also show that there is an overwhelming desire in the ‘shire for increased broadband provision and investment in infrastructure.

Survey postcards were sent to every address in the area, with a total of 12,000 being returned - a response rate of 10.7%, more than four times the normal response rate for mail shot campaigns.

The survey showed that 98.6% of current subscribers expressed an interest in subscribing to a faster service.

In addition, 81% of subscribers without access to broadband said that they would be interested in subscribing to a broadband service if one was available while almost 1000 people who don’t currently subscribe to a service stated that they would be interested in subscribing to a faster service.

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.

Aberdeenshire Council has already agreed to contribute up to £18 million to improve broadband services in the area but must provide evidence of demand from residents and businesses.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee Councillor Peter Argyle said: “The results of the survey send a very clear message that there is a huge demand from residents and businesses for improved broadband in the area.

“Although this is something we are already acutely aware of, as demonstrated by our £18m commitment to improve access to broadband in Aberdeenshire, it is vital that we can provide evidence of this need in order to be in the best position to access additional funding from the Scottish Government.”