SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, today met with a representative of the Scottish Government’s R100 team, who are responsible for rolling out superfast broadband access for every home and business in Scotland.
Duncan Nisbet, Stakeholder Director for the R100 Programme, met with the islands’ MSP this afternoon to discuss the rollout’s progress so far, as well as the updated timescales for work in the Western Isles and the inclusion of additional properties due to the extra funding committed by the Scottish and UK Governments in August.
Commenting after today’s meeting, Alasdair Allan said:
“Improving digital connectivity has never been more important to our islands, and the final phase of the R100 rollout will build on the huge steps already taken by the Scottish Government in ensuring access to fast, reliable internet in our most rural areas. The Scottish Government’s activity in this area is what has ensured that 80% of island addresses now have access to superfast.
“A number of my constituents have been in touch with me to express their very reasonable concerns at the length of time it is taking for fibre broadband to be installed in some communities. Indeed, while I appreciate that there are a lot of complex factors at play, it is not, in my view, acceptable that the areas with the worst connectivity at present are being expected to wait the longest.
“I am grateful to Duncan for meeting with me today to allow for a frank and thorough discussion of the extent to which communities still reliant on 4G for their broadband are affected when mobile signal in their area is disrupted, as we witnessed recently in Uig. It was equally helpful to be able to consider the various options for how to improve connectivity across the whole of the Western Isles as quickly as possible.
“It was agreed that a representative from the R100 team would travel to Uig early in the new year to meet with the community there, and I hope that representatives from EE will also be in attendance at this meeting.”