Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has voiced concern at figures revealing Orkney is one of the most likely areas to be digitally excluded.
The Go ON UK Digital Exclusion Heatmap launched by Go-On UK - a digital skills charity - has been developed with support from partners as part of their Make It Digital and wider digital literacy initiatives.
The Go ON UK Digital Exclusion Heatmap combines four metrics to indicate digital exclusion. These are infrastructure, access, Basic Digital Skills and Basic Digital Skills used.
The data for each metric is shown at Local Authority level with scores between one and nine, with one a low likelihood of overall exclusion and nine a high likelihood of overall exclusion. Orkney Islands Council area was scored a nine, a high likelihood of overall exclusion.
The Go ON UK Digital Exclusion Heatmap revealed that 15.20% of households in Orkney Islands do not receive broadband speeds of at least 2 megabits per second while 17.9% of adults in Orkney Islands have never been online at all.
Commenting, Orkney MSP Liam McArthur said:
“The statistics revealed by the Go ON UK Digital Exclusion Heatmap are striking, but not unfortunately surprising.
“Too many constituents I speak to are struggling with slow broadband speed or no service at all. Speeds of 2 megabits and Les are simply not good enough to enable individuals to work effectively from home. Indeed, with broadband speeds increasing elsewhere in the UK these figures stand as a warning. Action is needed to ensure Orkney is not left digitally excluded.
“I have made the case time and again, but will continue to do so. Scottish Ministers and their agencies must, where additional resources are available, give priority to extending the availability of broadband in places, such as Orkney, currently struggling with poor coverage.”
Liam McArthur MSP is calling for residents in Orkney to get in touch if their broadband speed is too low and sign his petition at www.liammcarthur.org.uk/broadband.