BT pledges 525m to Scots arm

BT is to invest 525m in Scotland over the next five years as a direct response to devolution of the country (MW April 30).

The investment will be led by a new nine-strong Scottish board, headed by BT Scotland director Doug Riley.

Riley initiated the rebranding in January when he made the name change from BT to BT Scotland and ordered an audit of operations specifically looking at how to embrace a sense of “Scottishness”.

The five-year investment in-cludes 100m to improve data links around the country, in addition to the 20m it has already invested in the telecoms service to the Highland and Islands over the past five years.

The company will spend 20m on improving Scottish coverage for Cellnet, the mobile phone operator in which it owns a 60 per cent stake.

BT Scotland is also planning to develop products and services specifically for Scottish customers.

Industry observers believe the company will launch a Scottish call rate. Currently BT charges calls between Glasgow and Edinburgh at the same rate as those between Glasgow and London.

BT’s operations in Scotland are increasingly under pressure from companies with Scottish roots. ScottishPower-owned Scottish Telecom already operates a local call rate.

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