TORIES MUST ‘STEP UP TO THE PLATE’ ON DIGITAL CONNECTIVITY

Patricia Gibson MP has urged the UK government to carry out its responsibility to enhance digital connectivity and invest more money in delivering high-speed broadband across Scotland, after it was criticised for ‘short-changing’ Scots on high-speed broadband.

Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MSP - SNP revealed that the UK Tory Government contributes just 3% of the total funding for the ‘Reaching 100%’ project. Mr Ewing said;

“Despite connectivity and broadband being entirely reserved to Westminster, the SNP Government has invested £600 million in the ‘R100’ programme to deliver super-fast broadband to every home and business in Scotland. The UK Government has contributed £20.99 million – just 3% of total funding.

“The reason we’ve had to invest so much is because of the UK’s lack of strategy. We’ll certainly continue to press the UK on this matter.”

Patricia Gibson added:

“Digital connectivity is an essential part of modern life and indispensable for stimulating and sustaining economic growth. The UK Government must therefore stop short-changing Scotland on broadband.

“The Tories lack of ambition for delivering broadband is extremely disappointing, and far behind the commitment of the SNP Government, despite connectivity and broadband being a UK responsibility.

‘’The Scottish National Party (SNP) The Scottish Government is working to extend superfast access to all of Scotland by 2021 – with speeds of at least 30Mbps – and committed £600 million to delivering it. It’s not too late for the Tory Government to step up to the plate and join us by fulfilling their remit and investing in broadband here in North Ayrshire and across Scotland.”

ENDS

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