A broadband speed gap is widening in Scotland. According to a study conducted by the University of Aberdeen, rural areas in the north of Scotland have lower average speeds than those in more urban areas. This has caused young people to move from the places they grew up in and migrate to the cities, where they can stream video, play games online, and otherwise make use of fast Internet speeds. Slow rural broadband has also raised the cost of farming and prevented businesses from extending their online reach into rural areas.

The study finds that “this… clearly demonstrates there is a growing social and economic gap between those who are connected and those who are not—the ‘digitally excluded.’” These “digitally excluded” citizens cross age, income, and education lines, and will continue to lose opportunities online to Scots who live in more connected urban environments unless broadband speeds are equalized across all areas of their country.

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