Govt failing on rural broadband, says Scottish National Party

Govt failing on rural broadband, says Scottish National Party

The UK government has been criticised by the Scottish National Party for failing to adequately improve broadband coverage in rural areas. Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil hit out at the UK government for its policies on broadband coverage in rural communities.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the Western Isles MP said that rural parts of Scotland are years behind other countries regarding broadband coverage. He added that the areas had ‘been let down badly’ by the government. ‘When it comes to the Highlands of Scotland they appear both clueless and disinterested,’ he said.

MacNeil said the Department for Culture, Media and Sport acts as if ‘everything is rosy’. He said there were similar issues with mobile phone coverage in the rural communities.

However, he said 4G technology offers the British government the chance to look seriously at how the high data speeds it offers can complement further broadband rollouts.

The government have a chance to enable ‘more comprehensive rollout’ on the mobile network by tackling matters such as mast sharing, he said.

The £410m Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme is aiming for 95% of buildings in Scotland to have access to superfast fibre broadband by 2017-18.

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