Campaign to improve broadband in Highlands and Islands

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Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, and long term campaigner for better broadband services, Rhoda Grant, has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Keith Brown, calling on him to allocate more funding to the Highlands and Islands for improved broadband services.

Mrs Grant understands the Scottish Government has further monies available for this and are currently making decisions on spending priorities.

Mrs Grant said: “Scottish Labour in the Highlands and Islands has led the way on bringing about much needed improvement, and indeed, the introduction of broadband services to some parts of the Highlands and Islands.

“My former colleagues, Peter Peacock and Maureen Macmillan, worked relentlessly on this issue for years and, like everyone in the area, we were delighted when the funding was finally awarded to improve the infrastructure of the broadband network in the area.

“This work is ongoing and while it will eventually bring faster broadband to a great many people in the area, some will unfortunately, still miss out due to the geographical challenges in bringing services to the remotest parts of our area.”

Mrs Grant continued: “I know from my postbag that while great steps are being taken in improving the situation in the Highlands and Islands, much remains to be done to increase levels of delivery.

“The Highlands and Islands started out from a lower base level of coverage and I have asked the Cabinet Secretary to ensure a level playing field across the country by bringing the Highlands and Islands up to the same standard as is deemed acceptable in urban Scotland.

“He can do this by ensuring that they look to equalise percentage coverage over local authority areas rather than simply increasing overall percentage of coverage in Scotland as a whole.

“The Highlands and Islands is where the campaign to improve broadband services began back in 2005 and I want to see the area benefit from the same standards as urban Scotland receives.”