UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Sunday 23 June 2024
 11.4°C   WSW Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Community / Minister keen to prioritise rural areas for broadband

THE SCOTTISH Government says it will take an “outside-in” approach to rolling out superfast broadband access the country – meaning that rural areas could be the first to benefit.

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott told the Scottish Parliament on Thursday that areas like Unst and Yell, which have historically suffered from poor connectivity and don’t have fibre broadband, should be prioritised in the government’s £600 million R100 programme.

The project aims to see all premises in Scotland having access to superfast broadband of 30Mb/s by 2021.

An Audit Scotland report published earlier this year, however, warned that providing access to the country’s most remote areas will be difficult.

Islands and connectivity minister Paul Wheelhouse responded to Scott in parliament by saying that the Scottish Government’s approach of “outside-in” means that remote and rural communities will be prioritised first.

He also praised the work of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, which achieved its aim of providing fibre broadband to 95 per cent of premises in Scotland by the end of 2017.

It is understood, meanwhile, that there is interest from Faroe’s state owned telecoms company in helping to bring fibre broadband and 5G mobile data to Unst ahead of the proposed spaceport launching on the island.

Speaking after the parliament questioning, Scott reiterated that Shetland’s islands “need to be first”.

“They have been left behind so far. Fibre optic cables must be laid to the house and business premises so that people can gain the advantages of superfast broadband,” he said.

“Audit Scotland are worried about how long this is all taking. So are islanders. Businesses in the isles need to know when they can expect to be connected.

“The government claims it is on track to begin R100 in the second half of 2019. It must guarantee this happens and that a clear timetable for connection is set out. I will meet the minister responsible to push that Shetland is first in the queue for this vital investment.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.