POCKETS of poor connectivity could hamper the economic recovery for some in Scotland’s largest city, it is claimed.

While the Scottish Government’s R100 programme has helped Scotland to where 95 per cent of the country can order a superfast service at a speed of 30mbps and above, rural areas face delays of up to five years for connectivity and urban communities are said to also be facing setbacks.

Stuart Patrick, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive, has raised the issue of small areas where high level connectivity drops out.

Part of the problem is down to neighbouring businesses and homes being unable to work together to agree a collective connectivity solution, he said.

HeraldScotland: Special Series, Day Three: 'Patchy connectivity hampers recovery for some'Special Series, Day Three: 'Patchy connectivity hampers recovery for some'

In part three of our special series on connectivity during the pandemic, we look at how a new hybrid model relies on digital excellence.

Mr Patrick said existing and planned technology could probably sustain hybrid working as the country looks towards returning to the workplace, but there are concerns the recovery could look different for areas with or without adequate connectivity.

“The question will be the quality for some isn’t nearly good enough and the access for some is negligible,” he said. “Benny Higgins said it quite clearly in his report last year that we’ve got to remember that 50% of the jobs can never be done from home and are always going to be done in situ whether that is hospitality or right up to scientists working in labs.

“The challenge will be for the 50% that can work at home, are the services good enough?

HeraldScotland: Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of CommerceStuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce

“It is patchy. There are some that have got really poor connections and it is the system. There are pockets. I did have some interesting conversations with suppliers around why that was and it is usually that the last little section in the system that is the problem and quite often it is to do with collective requirements for neighbours to work together.

“Suffice to say there is still a way to go to get the system up to the level we would need it to be.”

DAY TWO: R100 delays bring 'open season' for smaller players in digital game

However, work is now under way on the next stage of one of Europe’s largest city-wide full fibre roll-outs that will make Glasgow among the country’s first “gigabit cities”, those with an entirely fibre network which increases the speed of internet connections and is more stable than normal broadband.

More than 1,200 public sector sites such as hospitals, schools and council buildings are already connected to the network from digital infrastructure provider CityFibre, which has been working with Glasgow City Council more widely since 2016.

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Providers like Openreach and CityFibre are connecting cities including Glasgow and Edinburgh. Openreach hails the Scottish capital as its first fibre city in Scotland, connecting more than 100,000 premises.

DAY ONE: Anger over Scottish Government connectivity funding hold-ups

Robert Thorburn, Openreach Scotland partnership director, said: “Connectivity’s been vital for city businesses and home workers during the lockdown, with record demand across our network. Now, as the nation starts to face the economic fallout from the pandemic, it’s going to be even more essential.

“Full fibre broadband provides more reliable, resilient and future-proof connectivity; with fewer faults; more predictable, consistent speeds and enough capacity to easily meet growing data demands.

"That gives businesses an economic edge for the recovery, and we’ve been seeing business orders increase as restrictions are lifted, as well as continuous demand for services to support higher levels of home working.”