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The Scottish Government has criticised the selection criteria for the second wave of Urban Broadband Fund finance.

As well as the £100 million to be shared among ten larger cities - including London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff - the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has set aside £50 million to establish ultra-fast connectivity in ten smaller urban centres.

A shortlist of 27 smaller cities which can bid for a share of the £50 million fund was announced earlier this month.

But the Scottish Government is upset at the exclusion of Stirling and Inverness from the shortlist - both of which fall short of the required 45,000 homes and businesses.

Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth will be the only Scottish cities eligible to apply for a share of the £50 million fund.

The Scottish executive is also upset that Glasgow - left off the £100 million 'large cities' shortlist - is ineligible to bid for a share of the secondary pot.

Alex Neil MSP, Scotland's Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, said it is "disappointing" that not all the nation's cities are able to benefit from the broadband fund.

"Inverness, as capital of the Highlands, is surely an ideal candidate for this fund," he stated.

"Similarly Stirling could benefit hugely from being able to bid for this funding."

Mr Neil said the Scottish Government will go on driving forward its plans to deliver faster broadband for the whole country.

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