Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has written to Ministers asking for details on how and where the Scottish Government well spend an additional £9m made available for broadband.
Mr McArthur has highlighted areas in Orkney that are unlikely to be included in the current superfast broadband roll out programme, and sought assurances that these will now benefit from any additional funding, funding that the Scottish Government’s has announced for rural areas today.
In Orkney, only areas in Stromness and Kirkwall are accepting orders for superfast broadband. Mr McArthur has highlighted that much of the mainland is still waiting on news while the Scottish Government has yet to find a solution to delivering superfast broadband to islands including Hoy, Flotta, Shapinsay, Rousay, Wyre, Egilsay, Eday, Sanday, Stronsay, North Ronaldsay and Papa Westray.
Commenting, Mr McArthur said:
“Improving broadband and mobile phone coverage across Orkney is increasingly essential. Not only is it now a vital tool for businesses, it also important in enabling people to access public services as well as keeping them in touch with family and friends.
“Unfortunately, the current superfast broadband roll out will make a big difference in many parts of the county, but will still leave a number of gaps in provision. I have long argued that more attention needs to be given to ensuring these gaps are filled as soon as possible.
“Demand for broadband in these areas is high and it is clear that technical solutions now exist to enable service to be provided. I see no reason, therefore, why the additional funding announced this week should not be used to target remaining broadband ‘not spots’ in Orkney.
“I have written to the Minister asking for details about how the new funding will be allocated. I look forward to receiving assurances that communities in Orkney will benefit from this initiative”.