People in Orkney should not “pay through the nose” for superfast broadband, Orkney MSP Liam McArthur said today in Holyrood.
Speaking during portfolio questions in the chamber this afternoon, Mr McArthur recognised the need for a wide range of technologies to deliver 100% broadband coverage by 2021.
Addressing the Cabinet Secretary, Orkney’s MSP called for assurances that “people in Orkney, even if they have access to it, will not be paying more for broadband than people do in other parts of the country.”
Responding, the Cabinet Secretary agreed to address Mr McArthur’s concerns with the UK Government and Ofcom.
Following the exchanges, Mr McArthur said:
“The Scottish Government has committed to delivering superfast broadband to 100% of businesses and households by 2021. This promise is welcome, though we need greater clarity about how it will be achieved.
“It is also important that those in more outlying areas are not left paying through the nose for the service they receive. Having good quality, reliable broadband is increasingly essential to being able to access a range of public services as well as the other benefits it brings. Whatever approach the Scottish Government takes to meeting its commitment, addressing the issue of affordability will be key.
“The Cabinet Secretary agreed to take this forward in his discussions with the UK Government and Ofcom about future regulation of the telecoms market. That is a step in the right direction and vital to ensuring that superfast broadband is genuinely accessible in the same ways as other utilities.”