Colin Beattie MSP has called on the UK government to revise its approach to digital connectivity and invest more money delivering high-speed broadband for residents in East Lothian, after it was criticised for ‘short-changing’ Scots on high-speed broadband by a parliamentary committee.
The Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity committee this week called on the UK government to deliver its fair share of UK broadband funding after it was revealed that the Tories have contributed just 3% of the total funding for the ‘Reaching 100%’ project.
Despite connectivity and broadband being a reserved matter, the Scottish Government has invested £600 million in the ‘R100’ programme to deliver super-fast broadband to every home and business in Scotland.
Commenting, SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“Digital connectivity is an essential part of modern life and an indispensable tool for stimulating economic growth, which is why it is essential that the UK government stop short-changing residents in East Lothian, and across Scotland.
“The Tories’ ambitions for broadband are extremely disappointing, and far behind those of the Scottish Government – despite connectivity and broadband being a reserved matter.
“Communities across East Lothian have been backed into a corner due this Westminster government’s complete lack of ambition for digital connectivity. Rural areas have been especially let down by a lack of adequate broadband coverage.
‘’The Scottish Government has committed to extending superfast access to all of Scotland by 2021 – with speeds of at least 30Mbps – and committed £600 million to delivering that; it’s time for the Tories to step up to the plate and commit to joining Scotland in the 21st century.
“The Tories must step up to the plate and deliver for people in East Lothian.”