Saturday 23 July 2011
The SNP Government has proposed further support and investment in rural broadband including the Next General Digital Fund to ensure all of Scotland is able to access fast broadband services.
Last month the Scottish Parliament backed SNP proposals to improve rural connectivity and the UK Government’s commitment to extend superfast broadband.
Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said:
“This is a welcome move. Anything to drive down the cost of broadband has to be welcomed.
“I represent many people in rural locations whose internet is agonisingly slow with BT the only provider. BT has significant responsibilities and the lack of inclination to provide better broadband has hit businesses and stunted growth.
“This is an issue of real importance to Scotland’s rural economy and the SNP Government’s commitment to see improved broadband and digital services across Scotland will help grow the economy.
“The key test for BT will be if people in similar areas across Scotland see a marked improvement in their broadband speeds.”
The Ofcom decision on rural broadband can be found at http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/2011/07/better-value-rural-broadband/,
A Scottish Parliament debate last month on Rural Connectivity can be found at Scottish Parliament business, 30th June 2011. Stewart's contribution to the debate can be read and watched at S4M-00448 Rural Connectivity.
The motion backed by Parliament is below:
That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Government's wish to see a rural Scotland that is outward looking and dynamic with a diverse economy and active communities; welcomes the aspiration expressed in Scotland’s Digital Future: A Strategy for Scotland that next generation broadband will be available to all by 2020; notes however that market forces alone will not deliver next generation broadband and mobile phone access to much of rural and suburban Scotland and that without public sector involvement the digital gap will widen, and therefore urges the Scottish Government to develop its strategy for investment in the necessary infrastructure throughout Scotland as a matter of priority; further welcomes the UK Government's commitment to implement superfast broadband across the whole of the United Kingdom, and calls on Scottish and UK ministers to work together to achieve the best possible coverage for rural Scotland.