Rural broadband improvement options to be considered

RURAL COMMUNITIES CURRENTLY being blighted by antiquated technology for internet access could soon be given further support following discussions by Councillors on Tuesday.

Members of the economic development and infrastructure committee unanimously rejected a recommendation that Council officers wait 18 months to see what progress has been made by BT, who have responsibility of the roll out of superfast broadband in the area.

Councillor Douglas Ross (Fochabers/Lhanbryde) highlighted areas in his ward such as Inchberry where it was highly unlikely that BT would do anything to improve access. He urged members to accept a changing of the wording that information was brought to the next meeting of the committee on what other councils were doing, and how technology could be used to ensure that communities were not left behind.

His call was supported by new Buckie Councillor Sonya Warren, who runs a business in the area, who added that it was vital that small and micro businesses were not allowed to be left behind by waiting 18 months before doing any work.

Members agreed that a package of potential measures were brought to the next committee meeting for consideration.

These measures will be aimed at tackling the problems in the estimated 15% of areas in Moray that it is not expected that BT will be able to support during their current program.

It is expected that financial information on implications will also be provided at this time.