60.5% MORE HOUSEHOLDS IN EAST LOTHIAN AND 49.5% MORE HOUSEHOLDS IN MIDLOTHIAN CONNECTED TO SUPERFAST BROADBAND
SNP GOVERNMENT DELIVERING FOR SCOTLAND WHILE TORIES FAIL ON BROADBAND COMMITMENT
Local MSP Colin Beattie has welcomed new figures that show a huge boost to connectivity in Midlothian and East Lothian, thanks to significant investment from the SNP Government.
According to the latest coverage statistics from Thinkbroadband, 92.4% properties in East Lothian and 93.5% properties in Midlothian are now connected to superfast broadband – a 60.5% rise for East Lothian and a rise of 49.5% for Midlothian from 2014 when only 31.9% East Lothian households and 44% of Midlothian properties were connected to internet speeds of at least 30Mbps.
A report published this week from Ofcom also found that 172,889 properties across Scotland have been connected to superfast broadband in the last year alone.
Despite connectivity and broadband remaining reserved to Westminster, Scotland is the only part of the UK that has guaranteed 100% superfast broadband access.
While the SNP is investing £600 million in the R100 programme, the single biggest public sector investment in digital connectivity in the UK, Westminster has contributed less than £21 million to the project – just 3% of the total funding.
Welcoming the latest figures, SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh Colin Beattie said:
“These latest figures are clear evidence that Midlothian and East Lothian has reaped the rewards of SNP broadband investment.
“Broadband is a reserved issue to Westminster, but successive UK governments have sat on their hands and done next to nothing to connect Scottish homes to superfast internet speeds.
“It’s been left to the SNP Government at Holyrood to take up the mantle and invest £600 million in the R100 programme to ensure superfast broadband speeds reach every corner of Scotland.
“The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital connectivity - helping thousands of people in Midlothian and East Lothian work from home, keeping us in touch with loved ones and supporting our local health service.
“While the Tories might be happy to sit in the slow lane, this SNP Government won’t stop until 100% of Scottish homes are connected to superfast broadband by the end of 2021.”