Finlay Carson MSP

Galloway and West Dumfries

Finlay criticises further delays to broadband roll-out

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP and shadow Digital Economy spokesman Finlay Carson has criticised the SNP Government for further delays in the rollout of superfast broadband.

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP’s criticism comes after Connectivity Minister Paul Wheelhouse confirmed in a Parliamentary response that the bidding process for the Reaching 100 programme will be delayed until the end of September.

The SNPs Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has said previously that he would resign if R100 was not delivered by 2021.

Commenting Finlay Carson MSP said.  “The SNP have talked up their R100 programme for over 18 months, but look set to fail before they have even started.

“Worryingly this admission comes in the same week after the welcome news about the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency.

“This is a real blow for our rural area and further confirmation that in practice this Government does not deliver for rural communities and businesses who badly need access to broadband connections.

“With further delays in the bidding process communities across rural constituencies like Galloway and West Dumfries can expect to have to struggle on for even longer without a reliable internet connection.

“What makes matters more frustrating is that businesses are now more  than ever in the dark as to when they should expect a fit for purpose service.

“I have no doubt that some businesses will be considering whether they can continue operating in an area where there is little prospect of getting a broadband connection anytime soon.

“Despite their protestations to the contrary,  the SNP Government have responsibility for the roll-out in areas where providers are unwilling to provide it on a commercial basis, and covers much of rural Scotland

”Now it is clear that this failing Government are once again not going to deliver on their promises, despite asking for the powers over broadband roll-out.”