Perthshire North MSP, Mr John Swinney, has today welcomed the positive impact that the Scottish Government’s leadership and investment have had on broadband availability across Perth and Kinross.
Mr Swinney’s comments come on the same day that Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, revealed that without Scottish Government intervention only 39% of premises across the region would have access to superfast broadband. Because of Scottish Government action, that figure now stands at 86% - an increase of 47% points.
The Scottish Government have committed over £600m to their R100 programme, which aims to ensure that every property in Scotland can access superfast broadband by the end of 2021. The previous target of 95% connectivity by March 2018 was met ahead of schedule in December 2017.
Commenting, Mr Swinney said:
“The Scottish Government’s R100 programme has ensured that homes and businesses across Perthshire are able to enjoy all the advantages that superfast broadband provides.
“Whether for leisure use, study or business purposes, superfast broadband is an absolute necessity. Accordingly, I am pleased that 86% of premises across the region are now able to benefit from a fast, stable internet connection.
“This is further evidence of the Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting rural Perthshire.
It is also worth noting that, under the Scotland Act 1998, broadband is a matter reserved to Westminster. With the UK Government unwilling to reach into their pocket, it has fallen to the Scottish Government to take ownership of this issue and provide the financial support and leadership that was so clearly lacking from Westminster.”