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The Scottish government has pledged to give every home and business access to superfast broadband by 2021.

A total of £600 million is to be spent on creating a superfast broadband network capable of achieving speeds of around 30Mbps.

Fergus Ewing, Scotland's Rural Economy and Connectivity Secretary, believes this is the "biggest public investment ever made in a UK broadband project".

"It is a truly transformative moment for our broadband infrastructure and a statement of our intent to make Scotland a world-class digital nation," he commented.

Mr Ewing stated that fast and reliable internet connectivity is vital for the economic and social wellbeing of communities across the country.

He described the £600 million investment as ambitious, but stressed it would "revitalise the prospects of rural areas right across Scotland".

Furthermore, he noted that it is more than three times what the UK government is putting towards its own fibre broadband rollout.

"Building on the success of the Digital Scotland programme, we will deliver a future-proofed, national fibre network that will place rural Scotland among the best connected places anywhere in Europe," Mr Ewing continued.

He added that the scale of the Scottish government's investment and ambition is likely to attract interest from a wide range of telecoms suppliers, both across the UK and Europe.

This comes shortly after Mr Ewing dismissed criticism from UK Digital Minister Matt Hancock that Scotland is lagging behind the rest of the country when it comes to superfast broadband.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Mr Hancock said the UK government is so "fed up with the Scottish government's poor performance" that it plans to hand millions of pounds for a new fibre broadband rollout directly to Scottish councils, rather than to the Scottish National Party.

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