Concerns over poor connection rates in rural Aberdeenshire

David Duguid MP has said rural communities across Banff and Buchan are being abandoned after new figures showed the SNP’s R100 broadband scheme has connected just 0.2% of properties in the north of Scotland.

By John A. MacInnes
Thursday, 17th March 2022, 12:38 pm
David Duguid MP
David Duguid MP

An Audit Scotland report said the SNP-Green Government “have work to do” on their rollout of superfast broadband which has only benefited 145 premises in the area.

The Scottish Government previously confirmed that the rollout for the North wouldn’t be completed until the end of the 2026-27 financial year having been earmarked to finish at the end of 2021.

David Duguid MP, the Conservative MP for Banff and Buchan, who is in regular communication with Openreach, has now secured a visit to the north-east from its chief executive Clive Selley where the issues around the R100 scheme will be discussed.

Mr Duguid described the rollout as “shambolic” and said the figures were a “kick in the teeth” to rural communities across Banff and Buchan.

He said: “Given the SNP slashed the digital infrastructure budget in recent years it is little wonder that this project is delayed.

“They promised to ‘ensure that 100 per cent of premises across Scotland have access to super-fast broadband by 2021’, with former SNP Minister Fergus Ewing saying he would resign if this promise was not met.

“These figures are shambolic and will be a kick in the teeth to the rural communities in my constituency who are depending on faster broadband.

“As we recover from the pandemic it is absolutely crucial that businesses and individuals are connected as quickly as possible, but right now there is a real danger this SNP Government will leave our rural communities even further behind.

“It’s vital that the issues with this under-delivered scheme are rectified so remote areas across the north-east can benefit from improved connectivity.”