The SNP promised to ‘ensure that 100 per cent of premises across Scotland have access to super-fast broadband by 2021’, with former SNP Minister Fergus Ewing even promised to resign if this promise was not met. Yet now work on the network will run to at least 2027 and nobody in the SNP government has taken responsibility.
The continued delays on delivering broadband have been unacceptably slow. Superfast and reliable broadband is vital for all parts of Scotland, especially rural areas. We know that rural areas of Scotland continually have the slowest speeds in Scotland.
Nearly 20 per cent of Scotland’s landmass does not have access to good 4G coverage from at least one of the mobile operators, compared to 10 per cent in Wales and 3 per cent in England. Ofcom also found that around 34,000 (1.2 per cent) premises in Scotland are still without a decent broadband connection from either fixed or wireless networks. 95,000 do not have access to decent broadband via a fixed connection, the majority of these in rural areas.
That’s why the Scottish Conservatives would ensure every home and business premise in Scotland has a full fibre connection, and that R100 has the funding it needs. To help do this we would also legislate so that every new home must be built with full fibre broadband. We would prioritise the hardest to reach, rural parts of Scotland first.