Labour demand for greater urgency in rural broadband coverage

POOR INTERNET SPEEDS and a lack of any broadband coverage at all in many areas still blights personal and business users throughout the Highlands and Islands.

That is the view being expressed this week by one of the Labour MSP’s for the region, Rhoda Grant, who has noted and welcomed the progress being made in Moray, the Highlands and Islands in building a new superfast infrastructure.

However, Mrs Grant said that one of the largest complaints in her mailbox has been poor broadband speeds or in a number of cases no services whatsoever.

The MSP is demanding action from the Scottish Government, saying: “I continually hear from businesses and individuals throughout the Highlands and Islands who are totally frustrated by the fact they still have a second rate service.

“In this day and age it is outrageous that people in Inverness as well as in towns and villages throughout the region still struggle to get connections. People are concerned that BT, one of the partners in the Highlands and Islands rollout, is not getting to some areas that were promised connections.

“In addition to getting the masses in towns and villages better services, rural areas require community initiatives to deliver the last mile solutions.

“The solutions are out there now and I have pressed the SNP Government for years to come up to the Highlands to see for themselves how this is being done in some areas and how it can be easily replicated in other areas.

“I’ve again asked John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister, to come north and meet with the people who have the solutions. I await his response.”