Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur has called on the Scottish Government to pick up the pace in rolling out high speed broadband. He also made the case for prioritising delivery in Orkney after publication of a report by the Auditor General, Superfast broadband for Scotland: Further progress update, revealed that Orkney continues to lag behind other parts of the country.
The report highlighted that Orkney has one of the worst average broadband speeds and the highest percentage of premises that cannot receive speeds of at least 10 Mb/s, with nearly 30% of houses unable to receive at least 10Mb/s.
The Scottish Government has made a commitment to deliver high speed broadband to 100% of premises across Scotland by 2021. This R100 programme was announced by the First Minister two years ago but the programme remains in the procurement phase.
Commenting on the findings of the Auditor General’s report, Mr McArthur said:
“Despite recent investment in broadband services, for too many people in too many parts of Orkney the reality is one of slow speeds and intermittent service, if indeed they get a service at all.
“This latest report confirms that and lays bare the extent to which Orkney is getting a raw deal. It also makes the case for future broadband funding to be prioritised on areas such as Orkney which are already lagging behind.
“The Scottish Government’s commitment to deliver high speed broadband to 100% of households and businesses across Scotland by 2021 is very welcome. However, with the procurement of the R100 programme already delayed it is not at all clear how this commitment will be met. All the more important, therefore, that places like Orkney are at the front of the queue when it finally comes to delivery of this programme”.
Notes to editors: Find the full Audit Scotland Superfast Broadband for Scotland report at: report