Orkney MSP Liam McArthur today reiterate his call on the Scottish Government to press companies undertaking cabling work to incorporate fibre.
Speaking during topical questions, Mr McArthur called on the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Keith Brown MSP to work with his ministerial colleagues to "press SSE and other utilities companies to consider laying fibre when they undertake cabling work.”
In response, Mr Brown said: “Liam McArthur makes an interesting point. I will take up those issues with the Deputy First Minister and the energy minister. When we are involved with large, and sometimes very expensive, infrastructure works, it is often the case that we can achieve more than one thing at a time.”
Mr McArthur previously raised this issue with the Deputy First Minister in the context of calling for greater efforts to plug gaps in broadband provision across the Highlands & Islands.
Following the exchanges, Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur said:
“I welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s agreement to take up this issue with SSE and other utilities companies. It is important to ensure that every opportunity is taken to extend the network of fibre across Scotland. It is clear that has not been happening to date.
“Given the importance of good quality, reliable broadband coverage to businesses and households in Orkney, we need to see more joined up thinking. Incorporating fibre in planned cabling work could kill two birds with the one stone and deliver much needed benefits in Orkney and across the Highlands & Islands. I therefore look forward to hearing the outcome of the Scottish Government's discussions with SSE and others.”