back to article Scotland: Get tae f**k on 10Mbps Broadband USO

Scotland is unhappy about Westminster's plans to introduce a 10Mbps universal service obligation, with the Scottish Rural Economy Secretary calling it "grossly unfair". The country is currently pursuing far more ambitious plans to deploy 30Mbps broadband to nearly all homes in the country under a £600m programme that is due to …

Anonymous Coward

Eh?

So the Scottish is funding a roll out, but it's not the consumer that is paying.

So is that magic money then, that generates itself?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eh?

So is that magic money then, that generates itself?

No, it's money from the English tax payer just the same as all the money spent by the Scottish government.

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Re: Eh?

And there was me thinking that the Scots paid tax the same as the English. If it's actually a tax-free zone I may have to consider moving to Auchtermuchtie at once.

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Re: Eh?

We get much less than the Scottish economy returns to Wastemonster. We are also the only part of the UK other than the SE with a positive balance of payments, so we pay our way in the world, only we see feck all benefit from that.

The boom in gin distilling is returning hundreds of millions of quid annually to Whitehall every year now and that has to be added to the even bigger figure of the whisky and other distillation duties. All from barley, water and yeast. Oh and it is booming so much we have had to teach Sassenach farmers the strictures for the barley so they can grow it and sell it to us so we are boosting English farming to boot.

BTW there's a big industrial distillers and bottlers up the hill from Kirkcaldy in Fife. It does a huge amount of stuff under license things like Bailley's, Kahlua, vodkas, a huge proportion of UK spirits are made there.

After were are independent and the EU has our backs we MIGHT agree to continue selling them to you.

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Headmaster

Re: Eh?

"Auchtermuchtie"

Wear the fox hat.

https://youtu.be/kb0kiiB3O-o

p.s. It's Auchtermuchty!

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Anonymous Coward

Really?

I thought the money was all gone, hence people north of the border having to pay more tax than those to the south.

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Re: Eh?

"We get much less than the Scottish economy returns to Wastemonster"

I'm sorry but this is complete and utter balearics according to the SNP led government's own figures.

"We are also the only part of the UK other than the SE with a positive balance of payments so we pay our way in the world"

Wrong again. Again according to the SNP govts figures we get ~£1900 per head support from the r-UK.

BTW, NI, Wales, the NE and NW of England all get more per head than we do. Our revenues are about the UK average so our economy is doing OK, it's just that schools/ hospitals/ policing roads etc are expensive to provide in the Highlands and Islands.

Ever wondered why there's been no mention of Full Fiscal Autonomy for a while?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eh?

"Ever wondered why there's been no mention of Full Fiscal Autonomy for a while?"

Something to do with the crude oil price collapse perhaps? Something the little one never mentioned may happen. And remember it was full autonomy, well, so long as they can keep the Pound and link it directly to it.

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Re: Eh?

As a scotsman (living in Scotland) its pretty depressing to read some of comments on here. It seems a lot of people don't understand the concept of divide and conquer. This is main political tool of any democratic goverment. Scottish - English, Workers - Benefit claimants. Its about subscribing to our instincts to be pack animals to garner support, about creating a them and us (if you will).

Until someone sees the actual figures (and proposed rollout) you don't know how this all shakes out so it would be wise to forgoe racial stereotypes in these situations. (I was called a "jock" in a highly derogatory manner by a customer some years ago - until then I didn't even know it was considered a racially defamatory word - I don't care anyway - proud scotsman and all that!

Anyway any Scotsman will tell you why we don't "like" the English - English football commentators! (especially around the world cup)

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Re: Eh?

Not just football commentators. John Inverdale is probably the worst example of the sporting pundit that Scots hate, and every Irish and Welsh rugby fan I know feels the same.

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Pint

Re: Eh?

I pissed in the loo next to Jimmy Hill at Heathrow airport once. Luckily for him, the flight to Edinburgh from the next gate was closing. As it happens, Gordon Brown was on that flight, when he was shadow chancellor. I expect he would've chinned poor Jimmy if he'd seen him.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eh?

"After were are independent and the EU has our backs we MIGHT agree to continue selling them to you."

have you been asleep for the last few years?

you lost the independence referendum, The UK as a whole voted to leave the EU, The EU has already said that you will have to apply to join the EU, and as things stand you do not qualify, and even if you were to join, you would have to give up you funny money and join the euro zone.... you will have to give up that independence and bow down to Brussels...

if it was up to me, I would let you have that independence and then help rebuild that wall the Romans started....

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Re: Eh?

Another member of the National Cult Party dreaming the dream and so far from present reality that I think he is on the gin.

The facts are that a separate Scotland would have a huge financial deficit from day 1 and any Scottish company ( and nearly all the distillers are foreign / multinational owned and so can do what they want ) would sell anything they could to anyone who would buy it. Thankfully we had a referendum recently that rejected the notion of separation. But dream on.

Meantime why not work together with your fellow Scots to improve the situation so that Scotland can prosper rather than suffer from a lack of investment because of constitutional uncertainty ?

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Re: Eh?

The SNP have abandoned Full Fiscal Autonomy because the Scottish government is a net recipient of a top up from Westminster under the Barnet Formula according to their own figures, and is running the highest budget deficit in Europe, but isn't being forced to undertake Greek-level austerity because of UK membership. The population of Scotland is much more rural, and also declining, both absolutely and relatively to the rest of the UK. The cost of oil extraction is also rising, along with the upcoming costs of decommissioning oil platforms.

If Scotland joined the EU, and thus the €uro, it would be forced to undertake savage cuts to meet the membership criteria, and given that Scotland is a relatively rich country in Europe, it would also go from being a net beneficiary to a net subsidizer of poor countries in eastern Europe. It would be leaving its largest market for goods, the UK, for a much smaller one. It would also be one of the smallest nations in Europe and without a grouping i.e the Franco-German alliance or Visegrad in the east.

The UK is a union, we take care of each other, so it shouldn't matter if you live in a super rich city like London, or rural Scotland. We distribute money and services to whoever, and wherever it's needed. Scotland long subsidized the rest of the UK, so when oil prices collapsed the rest of the UK stepped in to subsidise Scotland. Somthing the Greeks never had. The SNP imo stoke these petty nationalist attacks on England, to provoke an inevitable backlash, to further their divisive agenda.

I for one adore Scottish whiskey, and i'll happily purchase it for the rest of my days, whether Scotland remains a member nation or becomes independent.

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Pint

Re: Eh?

"Scottish whiskey". It's Scottish whisky. The Irish have whiskey.

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Headmaster

Re: Eh?

And there was me thinking that the Scots paid tax the same as the English.

Not the same as the English, they actually pay more since Tax setting power was devolved and the SNP both increased the rate and held the allowance bands at the same level as the previous year.

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Re: Eh?

We distribute money and services to whoever, and wherever it's needed

ROFL! Barnett formula does not allow for differing needs, so the deprived areas stay deprived.

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Re: Eh?

@Symon

"Scottish whiskey". It's Scottish whisky. The Irish have whiskey.

A common misconception - that's how it is usually seen today, but go back a hundred years and the two were interchangeable.

But to clarify, 'Bourbon' isn't whiskey OR whisky!

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Re: Eh?

Actually it's Scotch Whisky.

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Anonymous Coward

They can get tae f**k with their free prescriptions then.

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Anonymous Coward

You do realise that England is the only nation of the UK that doesn't have free prescriptions. Both Wales & Norn Irn had them before Scotland

An you probably don't realise that its actually cheaper ( in Scotland anyways) to not charge for prescriptions as opposed to the costs of means testing them and all the added admin that goes with that

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Scotland is currently pursuing far more ambitious plans to deploy 30Mbps broadband to nearly all homes in the country under a £600m programme that is due to be done and dusted by March 2022, and which will be paid for by the Scottish administration.

Does nearly all homes exclude most of the highlands?

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No, it doesnae. Though BT are currently being bastards. There are communities who have no broadband but they can't access funds to do it themselves because BT won't rule out connecting them themselves. THAT is a big holdup. There are communities in the Highlands on broadband via microwave links to transmitters on hilltops and that sort of thing.

The big problem is Scotland has no say in telecoms but has to roll things out, do the admin side and can value add if we want and can find the funds. Note it is very investing as there are an increasing number of internet reliant businesses in the Highlands. If you are a running a B&B in Plockton or Ullapool you need to be online at better than dialup speeds.

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If this is the project whose technical designs I saw shortly before my retirement from BT then it would exclude most of the highlands.

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There are a small number of dwellings, almost exclusively hunting lodges stuck at the end of dirt tracks miles up a glen with not a single other dwelling between them and the main(ish) road. The Scottish government probably rightly thinks that if the folks staying in said hunting lodges what to surf the internet with superfast speeds on an evening they can pay for that themselves with FTTPoD, because the public purse is not subsidising that. Note due to the none straight nature of most glens using microwave links is not a viable option either so it's pretty much FTTP or nothing.

The rest of the highlands the Scottish government are fairly desperate to cover with decent broadband in an effort to stem any further depopulation.

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"Though BT are currently being bastards."

So business as usual then?

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I'm always a bit confused by the SNP, on the one hand they're big fans of the EU which takes money from the richer parts of the continent to give to the poorer bits to make roads and stuff. On the other hand they're completely against the same thing happening in the subset of the EU that is Great Britain.

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They're completely against the same thing happening

... Unless it's in their favour

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Thumb Down

I have to turn the radio off whenever Nicola Sturgeon starts talking on it. The last time I listened to her, she was saying something about how unfair it was that the English want their own devolved parliament when this doesn't help Scotland.

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Re: They're completely against the same thing happening

... Unless it's in their favour

Well, that is only reasonable, since Wee Jimmie has a party founded on a policy of nationalism and socialism.

She does of course overlook other policy areas with similar customer-funded obligations where Scotland was a net beneficiary. For example the Energy Company Obligation, which disproportionately benefited Scotland.

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Anonymous Coward

Given that Scotland has a much lower population density than England I'd have thought it would be much more expensive to install on a per user basis but I suppose this is more NAT economics in keeping with Alex Salmond's ludicrous projections for North Sea oil revenues.

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Wow, Scotland subsidising the rest of the UK and they complain? Yet the UK has subsidised Scotland for many years and they were quite happy to take their greater share. Sweaties, please **** off.

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Popular Front for the Liberation of England

Yep, it's a bit much, the Scots and Welsh whinging about being screwed economically for centuries. Tell, you what, I've a great idea. Why doesn't England just tell them to get stuffed and declare UDI from the Dis-united Kingdom. Then we'd see how Wales and Scotland can survive on their own, and how Norn Ireland copes in a united Ireland.

[And we can predict the result - Wales, Scotland, Ireland thrive in the EU and with their own UN seats. Much like all those other small countries without Tory governments manage to. No more being dragged into Westminster's wars. No more Tory governments. Good luck with that England!]

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Popular Front for the Liberation of England

>Yep, it's a bit much

What's really funny is that Labour gave a huge amount of devolution to Scotland in the hope it would be the main power base for them yet was rendered into oblivion there, that blew up in their faces quite spectacularly given the Tories are now the second biggest party in the Scottish parliament. I've a lot of time for Ruth Davidson.

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Re: Popular Front for the Liberation of England

Not just the Scottish Parliament, were it not for the huge swing to the Conservatives in Scotland in the last election Corbyn would be PM of a Labour minority government or a coalition right now.

Admittedly a large part of that is a backlash against the SNP though, who are annoying a lot of people in Scotland by focusing on their drive for independence rather than actually governing the country as they are elected to do. For those of you outside of Scotland who thought the Brexit referendum was unpleasant, imagine going through it twice in the space of a few years.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Popular Front for the Liberation of England

[And we can predict the result - Wales, Scotland, Ireland thrive in the EU...

Really? The EU heavyweights are on Ireland's case over tax rates and privacy, and that won't end well for Ireland. Wales and Scotland would end up like all small EU nations - they either have the big countries wipe their arse on them (think Greece, Portugal), or if they're lucky they pick up a few crumbs from policies built for the advantage of France and Germany. And in all the big decisions, their democratic "say" is negligible. The EU runs for the real benefit of France, Germany, and by historical accident, the tax haven of Luxembourg.

In theory I would agree that both Scotland and Wales COULD do far better as independent countries - and that is an outcome I wish I could see. Unfortunately, whilst they remain parochial socialist shit holes with a grinding inferiority complex, an overblown sense of national pride, and a deep rooted aversion to most forms of modernisation that won't happen. Both are near enough to single party states, operating as public sector theme parks. Everybody with any get up and go has got up and gone, and that happened several generations ago.

Look at your own neck of the woods - it does have its own university, but it's not exactly a cosmopolitan, vibrant, well connected, internationally welcoming destination, is it? Take hospitality - "we'll keep a welcome in the hillside" my arse! Despite the potential for the best meat and seafood in much of Europe, it's bloody impossible to find a decent restaurant - it's like being trapped in 1972. Service and the welcome are shite - depressingly it improves immeasurably whenever I give my Welsh surname. Where's the thriving water sports economy? Where's the modern resort hotels bringing in jobs and money? Nowhere. It's all Brummies in caravan parks, and thanks to the locals (and conniving cops of the day) burning down holiday homes, there's still a reluctance to even consider buying holiday homes in Wales.

If ever a country shat on its own potential it is Wales.

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Re: Popular Front for the Liberation of England

@AC

Or, if we can edit your post slightly, in the context of the UK...

if they're lucky they pick up a few crumbs from policies built for the advantage of France and Germany England. And in all the big decisions, their democratic "say" is negligible. The EU UK runs for the real benefit of France, Germany England, and by historical accident, the tax haven of Luxembourg the Isle of Man.

So Wales and Scotland would be worse off how exactly? It's interesting that virtually every argument used by the Leavers for taking the UK out of the EU can also be used (in spades) to justify the breakup of the UK, but the Britnats don't seem to see the irony!

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Re: Popular Front for the Liberation of England

"In theory I would agree that both Scotland and Wales COULD do far better as independent countries"

In general, *any* region of *any* country COULD do far better as an independent country, because in general the quality of government in every country on the planet is pretty crap. In any specific instance, however, it is likely that the region would be worse off, because it would still be governed by politicians. In particular, during the critical early years of the transition they would be governed by politicians whose entire career had been built on their mastery of a single issue.

So yes, Ms Sturgeon, Scotland might be better off alone, in the same way that, Mr Farage, the UK might be better off alone, but don't hold your breath on that one.

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Re: Popular Front for the Liberation of England

"So Wales and Scotland would be worse off how exactly? It's interesting that virtually every argument used by the Leavers for taking the UK out of the EU can also be used (in spades) to justify the breakup of the UK, but the Britnats don't seem to see the irony!"

Except the money flows OUT of the UK to the EU.

Wales and Scotland get a lot of subsidy IN from the r-UK.

So the situation wrt the EU is completely reversed.

"Britnats". You're an SNP supporter then?

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Re: Popular Front for the Liberation of England

@Pen-y-gors

The break-up of the UK would be Brexit on steroids. Scotland's trade with the UK is 4 times the value of that with the EU, Scotland would have to cut its budget deficit through much deeper austerity to meet membership criteria, Scotland would also go from a net recipient of funding to a net contributor.

TBF Nationalists who oppose Brexit don't appear to see the irony either.

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Re: Popular Front for the Liberation of England

Ruth Davidson isn't all that popular in Scotland, don't let the MSM deceive you - her record vote is still lower than that old witch Thatcher achieved and her parliamentary grouping in Scotland is mainly made up of regional seats due to the type of proportional representation used.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You can lead a jock...

>...to a bar, but you can't make him buy a round...

I'll drink to that if you're buying.

Tam Mullen

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10Mbps?

So less than half the rate that we (in a part of England that's so rural that you have to drive 9 miles to find a petrol station) get from ADSL? What is the actual point?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 10Mbps?

That would boost most of the houses where my parents live by a factor of 5. Though I would find it a drag having to live with 10Mbps...

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Re: 10Mbps?

My previous house managed 3Mbps on a good day. Based on the campaign for upgrades, several people were getting much worse.

200 meters from a major north-south route...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 10Mbps?

10Mbps? Luxury!

I get a just a little less than 1Mbps fairly consistently. If the Scots think they can afford 30Mbps for themselves almost everywhere, wouldn't it only be fair for them to subsidise a little upgrade for my area? It's not like my bit of Z2 London is that remote or anything...

After all, the point of all this intra-UK subsidizing is to even things out for everyone. Not to /uneven/ things further.

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Englandshire

Spot the usual uninformed comments by Englandphiles. Most of which miss the fact that if Scottish taxpayers are paying for the Scottish broadband roleout, they shouldn't then have to pay for Englands (in effect paying twice).

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Re: Englandshire

This is not considering the case where a Scot and an English person chat by Skype at the quality of the lowest speed?

Both side benefit from upping the bandwidth.

The presumption that Scottish affairs and English have no connection what so ever, fortunately is still incorrect.

This kind of "them n us" thinking is about to cost dearly in UK relationships with the rest of Europe; it would be wise to drop it at "home" too.

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