1. bookVolume 11 (2019): Issue 4 (December 2019)
    Special Issue: Smart European Village
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1803-8417
First Published
24 Feb 2009
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

The Changing Shape of Scotland’s Digital Divide

Published Online: 30 Dec 2019
Page range: 563 - 583
Received: 26 Feb 2019
Accepted: 29 Oct 2019
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1803-8417
First Published
24 Feb 2009
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The challenges of reaching rural areas with the latest digital technologies are well documented, resulting in a longstanding urban–rural digital divide in many countries. In 2016, Scotland embarked on one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in Europe when it committed to bringing superfast broadband to all of its citizens by 2021. In this paper, we take stock of recent progress towards this goal by applying the framework of the “Sparsely Populated Area”. While previous work has highlighted that Scotland’s digital divide is shrinking, application of this new framework reveals inequalities that traditional urban–rural classifications mask. We show that, while the number of digital “not spots” has fallen in recent years, many of those remaining are concentrated in a region that faces particular vulnerabilities in terms of service delivery and population decline. Digital inequalities introduce a further challenge to this region in addressing its potential as a viable and attractive place to live and work.

Keywords

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