Gil Paterson MSP has called on the UK government to revise its approach to digital connectivity and invest more money delivering high-speed broadband for residents in Clydebank, after it was criticised for ‘short-changing’ Scots on high-speed broadband by a parliamentary committee.
The Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity committee this week called on the UK government to deliver its fair share of UK broadband funding after it was revealed that the Tories have contributed just 3% of the total funding for the ‘Reaching 100%’ project.
Despite connectivity and broadband being a reserved matter, the Scottish Government has invested £600 million in the ‘R100’ programme to deliver super-fast broadband to every home and business in Scotland.
Commenting, Mr Paterson said:
“Digital connectivity is an essential part of modern life and an indispensable tool for business, stimulating economic growth. Here in West Dunbartonshire we have some of the highest speeds in Scotland but the Tories’ lack of ambition for broadband is extremely disappointing, and far behind that of the Scottish Government despite the fact that connectivity and broadband is wholly under the power of the UK Tory government at Westminster. Rural areas have been especially let down by Westminster with a lack of adequate broadband coverage.
‘’The Scottish Government has committed to extending superfast access to all of Scotland by 2021 – with speeds of at least 30Mbps – and committed £600 million to delivering that. The UK government contribution is a paltry £20.99 million which is about 3% of the overall budget.
“It’s time for the Tories to step up to the plate and deliver for the people of Clydebank. They must commit to joining Scotland in the 21st century.”