Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan earlier today met with Minister for Connectivity Paul Wheelhouse MSP to discuss the discontinuation of the Connected Communities broadband service.
The publicly-funded wireless network, which has operated in the Western Isles since 2005, is set to cease at the end of March 2020. The Minister offered to meet with Alasdair Allan after the islands’ MSP raised the issue in the Scottish Parliament.
Since the roll-out of superfast broadband across the islands began in 2015, more and more households and businesses have been transferring to mainstream broadband services. HIE have indicated that the high fixed costs of the Connected Communities network mean it is no longer viable to continue the service for a declining number of customers.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented:
“Since Connected Communities’ users received notification that the service would cease in March, I have received dozens of inquiries from affected households.
“There are significantly fewer people using Connected Communities since the roll-out of superfast broadband across the islands. However, for those 400 or so still on the network, the recent news that the service was set to shut down in March would have come as unwelcome news.
“I am grateful to the Minister for meeting with me, and for the attention which HIE have given to investigating options for Connected Communities users. Virtually all of the people who have contacted me so far have been found to possess a 4G signal suitable enough for home broadband.