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Households and businesses in Scotland could be set for a major broadband boost, it has been reported.

The Scottish government has unveiled a new Infrastructure Action Plan, which is designed to increase broadband speeds by five-fold north of the border over the next four years.

Ministers have allocated £185 million of public funding to the project and hope to achieve an equivalent investment from the private sector.

The broadband plan has been put together in a bid to combat Scotland's growing digital divide, which sees people living outside the major towns and cities left with inadequate internet services.

Under the plan, unveiled by Infrastructure Secretary Alex Neil, the country's mobile broadband coverage is also set to be improved.

The Scottish government is aiming to deliver broadband speeds of 40Mb to 80Mb to 85 to 90 per cent of the population by the middle of the decade.

Speaking to the BBC, Consumer Focus Scotland's Annie McGovern said households want fast and reliable broadband services.

"[They want] to be able to keep pace with all the new fantastic technology developments the 21st century will offer," she added.

"Having the right infrastructure in place is absolutely critical to doing this."

Ms McGovern said the commitments by the Scottish government will, if they are delivered, ensure that by 2015 more action is taken to better connect our remote and rural communities.

The plan can position Scotland "at the forefront of embracing new technology", she claimed.

"There is no doubt that digital is the way forward," said Infrastructure Secretary Alex Neil.

"We relish the challenge to put Scotland at the forefront of the digital revolution and make world-class digital infrastructure a reality."

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