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Broadband (Rural Areas)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 6th June 2019.

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Photo of Paul Wheelhouse Paul Wheelhouse Scottish National Party

I recognise the challenge that Maureen Watt has set before the Government. As she is aware, the matter is reserved, but we are trying to use our resources to tackle the issue. We recognise that it is a source of great frustration for the poeple who are affected.

We are deploying R100—I appreciate Ms Watt’s point that people are concerned about how long they are waiting for that. There is also gainshare funding through the deployment of the digital Scotland superfast broadband programme, which has continued through 2018-19 and will continue for the rest of 2019, extending coverage as far as possible. For communities that are still struggling with poor connectivity, there are interim solutions such as the UK Government’s better broadband subsidy and rural gigabit voucher schemes. They might not deliver services at 30Mbps or better, but they might provide an interim solution while R100 is being deployed.