The Scottish government must ensure the rollout of a full fiber broadband network in Scotland by 2027, which will facilitate the transition to 5G, according to the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland.
The commission also pushed for support to develop a local data center industry in Scotland, as well as to invest in direct international fiber cables. It added that the government must consider future data requirements in setting up public infrastructure, as well as how digital services may be used to manage the assets.
Furthermore, Scotland and the broader U.K. must commit to producing, by 2021, a regulatory and pricing framework that supports investments in telecom and energy infrastructure, the commission said.
The recommendations are outlined in the commission's report on a proposed 30-year infrastructure strategy for Scotland. The report noted, among other things, that the Scottish government must consider net-zero carbon targets and inclusive economic growth in any infrastructure decisions.
CityFibre Infrastructure Holdings Ltd. welcomed the proposal. The fiber network operator is set to acquire TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC's fiber network FibreNation and has also restructured a broadband rollout deal with Vodafone Group PLC.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier pledged to provide full fiber broadband across the U.K. by 2025.