Finlay Carson MSP

Galloway and West Dumfries

Carson hits out at SNP failure to deliver on flagship broadband promise

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP has hit out at the SNP Government as they finally admitted they won’t deliver their flagship R100 broadband programme as promised by 2021.

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP, who is also his party’s spokesperson on the digital economy, says the SNP Government must now be completely transparent as they land businesses and individuals with further delays to the programme until 2023.

He challenged Connectivity Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP to commit to informing businesses and individuals as to when they can expect to be connected.

Mr Wheelhouse replied saying that the Government were currently working with commercial operators to work out a definitive list of individual premises with a list to be published “In the summer.”

Commenting, Finlay Carson MSP said: “Whilst not unexpected this is another hugely disappointing  failure of the SNP on what was a flagship broadband policy promising to deliver super-fast to all by the end of 2021.

“My inbox is always full of complaints from constituents across the rural constituency who are unable to be connected or have been left waiting for months or even years to get super-fast broadband with no end in sight.

“The whole programme has been beset with delays and missed deadlines and now businesses and individuals across my rural constituency are potentially set to face delays in some cases until as late as 2023 as a result of this failure.

“While the voucher scheme is welcome, it will only go a little way to providing the level of certainty of service that the R100 promised.

“Given past broken promises from this SNP Government,  I sincerely hope that they will honour their latest commitment  and publish a detailed premises by premises plan with installation date guarantees  to give my constituents some level of certainty as to when they will be connected to the super-fast network and whether they need apply for the voucher scheme.

“I will be holding the Minister to his commitment to deliver the list of premises by the summer and it is my hope that this will be published more quickly than that timeframe.”

“The SNP have over-promised and under-delivered when it comes to broadband and they need to be held to account for their failure to deliver the much needed digital connectivity boosts for Galloway and West Dumfries as promised.”