Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Superfast Broadband (Access)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 9th November 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Gordon MacDonald Gordon MacDonald Scottish National Party

6. To ask the Scottish Government how many homes have exchange-only lines and no access to superfast broadband. (S5O-00307)

Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

The digital Scotland superfast broadband programme has connected more than 200,000 homes and businesses on exchange-only lines to the fibre network. By the end of the DSSB contracts, we expect that around 320,000 exchange-only lines will be connected.

We will undertake an open market review later this year to determine how many premises will not have superfast broadband access delivered commercially or through the DSSB programme. That will allow us to determine an intervention area for our new investment programme, which will help to deliver our 100 per cent superfast broadband commitment.

Photo of Gordon MacDonald Gordon MacDonald Scottish National Party

My constituents, from Fairmilehead to Balerno and Ratho, who have exchange-only lines, are concerned that they have access only to basic broadband with very low download speeds—in some cases, as low as 0.8 bits per second. What steps are being taken to address that issue in semi-rural areas and when will those areas get access to superfast broadband?

Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

The Pentlands and the Fairmilehead exchanges that cover Balerno and Fairmilehead have been enabled for fibre broadband, but not all homes and businesses have been connected yet. Constituents can check their details on the digital Scotland website or contact the DSSB team with any specific concerns. I am aware of Gordon MacDonald’s strong interest in the matter and I will write to him with further details.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

I apologise to the four members whom I was unable to call. Along with the other Presiding Officers, I am trying to get short questions and answers to allow the members at the tail end to get in. With your help, we will get there one day. We will now have to move on to the next set of portfolio questions.