Speaking in the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee this morning, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Connectivity rolled back on the SNP’s election pledge to deliver 100% superfast broadband coverage by 2021, claiming that ‘engineering factors’ could delay the R100 project in rural areas. Despite glacial progress so far.
The SNP promised better connectivity to rural voters in both 2015 and 2016 but the Scottish Government’s 15% contribution to the £412million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband project has been far outweighed by investment from Broadband Development UK, the EU and BT. With an added £40million coming from local authorities.
Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesperson on the Rural Economy and Connectivity and North East MSP, Mike Rumbles said: “The Scottish Government has dragged its feet until the eleventh hour and now the Minister has said that it if he fails to deliver the SNP’s promise it will be because of the challenges with delivering superfast broadband to rural homes. Perhaps they should have said that when they made their promises in the first place.
“Meanwhile thousands of rural homes and business have been left languishing with speeds of 1Mbps or even slower.
“That is not good enough and we need to see meaningful progress on this immediately. Perhaps this incompetent Scottish Government should stop wasting time picking fights with Westminster and deliver what they have promised to rural voters.”
Notes for editors:
- The Scottish Parliament Library SPICe report can on Digital Scotland be found here (see page 8 on funding): here