In a session of the Rural Economy committee in the Scottish Parliament this morning, North East MSP Mike Rumbles secured a promise from the Scottish Government’s connectivity minister that anyone who wants faster broadband by the end of 2021 will receive it.
Earlier this month, the Scottish Government admitted that it is on course to fail its flagship 2016 election pledge to provide access to superfast broadband for every home in Scotland by the end of 2021.
Instead, ministers announced a ‘voucher scheme’ for households that will not receive superfast broadband before the deadline. Today the connectivity minister promised Mr Rumbles that anyone who applies to the voucher scheme, due to launch this summer, will receive an interim solution that will provide an equivalent to fibre broadband before the end of 2021.
Mr Rumbles said: “This key SNP election promise to rural communities has already been delayed three times. I welcome the assurances given by the minister this morning but I will not be holding my breath.
“Good connectivity is absolutely vital for the future our local economy. Our rural communities have been left behind while the Scottish Government has been sitting on its hands for four years. That is simply not good enough.
“Today, the minister promised me that anyone who applies to the voucher scheme will get a solution to improve their internet speed before the end of 2021. I urge everyone who isn’t currently getting superfast broadband to take-up this offer and put enough pressure on the Scottish Government to deliver what was promised.”
Notes for editors:
- The full committee exchange can be viewed here: https://www.scottishparliament.tv/