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THE EXPANSION OF Broadband services under the control of the Scottish Government has been described as a “dismal performance” for Moray.
Local Conservative MP Douglas Ross insists that figures released yesterday expose a series of broken promises that are “an insult to Moray residents and businesses”.
Mr Ross has said that despite repeatedly promising Scotland was on track to meet the target of 95% of properties having access to superfast broadband by the end of 2017, and Scottish Government ministers still saying that it had been met as recently as last week, the figures show that only 85.3% of homes in Moray have access to high speed internet connections.
“The figure for Scotland as a whole is 93.4%, compared with 95.5% in England,” the MP said, adding: “It also appears that the SNP Scottish Government is now trying to push back its target by three months and has changed its tune by now committing to provide superfast broadband to ‘around 95 per cent’ of Scotland.
“It is right that the UK Government has decided to by-pass the SNP administration for the next phase of superfast rollout by giving the funding directly to local councils. The SNP cannot be trusted to deliver for Moray or the rest of Scotland.
“Local people deserve the same coverage as those in England and I will continue to do everything I can to help achieve this. It is clear from the number of individual constituents and businesses that contact me about poor broadband speeds that we need improvements as quickly as possible.”
Last week the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster learned that many properties included in the Scottish statistics as having access to superfast broadband were actually unable to obtain a decent connection because their property was too far away from a cabinet.
Mr Ross concluded: “These independent figures are deeply embarrassing for the Scottish Government and is yet another example of the SNP making promises which they then fail to deliver.”
The figures back up extensive information given to insideMORAY over 18 months ago, which demonstrated that while claims continued to be made that Moray was meeting the target that did not appear to be the case.
The reality was that old copper cabling that had not been replaced meant many homes and businesses were unable to take advantage of the speeds delivered to local cabinets.
At the time insideMORAY refused to publish figures released by Highlands and Islands Enterprise that insisted the targets were being met.