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The Scottish government has raised concerns that it will not benefit from the UK government's universal broadband pledge.

Last month, the Westminster government confirmed it has given Ofcom two years to implement the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO).

This means that by 2020, everyone in the UK will have a legal right to an affordable connection offering speeds of at least 10Mbps.

However, Scotland's Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing believes the country could be excluded from the USO, due to its R100 programme - an effort to deliver superfast broadband to all properties in Scotland by 2021.

Mr Ewing has therefore called on the UK government to clarify what Scotland will receive from the USO.

"This USO will be funded by industry, who are in turn likely to pass on the costs to consumers across the UK," he commented.

"If excluded from the USO, people in Scotland would get nothing back despite contributing funding. This is grossly unfair."

Mr Ewing also argued that if this happened, it would be "indicative" of the UK government's approach to broadband rollouts so far.

Indeed, he alleged that Westminster has chosen to "ignore the needs of Scotland", with rural areas in particular being overlooked.

Furthermore, Mr Ewing said the UK government has instead chosen to rely on an "entirely industry-led model", which would leave "large parts of rural Scotland completely disconnected".

He added that a collaboration between the Scottish and UK governments would allow the former to "unlock significant savings to which Scottish consumers have a right".

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