Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has said there are unanswered questions from the UK government on their announced deal with BT to provide broadband, with concerns over the benefits to rural Scotland and whether the proposals are the best deal for the taxpayer.
BT has offered to provide the infrastructure for 99% of premises in the UK to get broadband speeds of at least 10 megabits per second by 2020.
Gavin said: “There are some important questions that need answered urgently about this deal. It’s not clear if all of Scotland is going to benefit from the broadband roll-out or what the time scales for the more remote communities are. This is an issue which is particular importance to the rural areas and villages in Renfrewshire and we need to see the details from the UK government urgently.
“It is not just the remote Highland and island communities that lack access to fast and reliable broadband as areas such as Houston and Bridge of Weir in Renfrewshire also need to gain to access to superfast broadband and we need clarity on when the service is going to improve.
“We also need answers on its potential impact on the Scottish Government’s own commitment to provide access to superfast broadband to 100 per cent of Scotland’s homes and businesses by 2021.
“We also don’t know if this represents the best value for the public, when there has been no specification, no tender, no other providers involved – the Tories have just enabled BT to maintain its monopoly in this market and we do not know if this is a good deal for the taxpayer.”
Photo Credit: Adrian Malec