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Concern as second bidder drops out of superfast broadband pilot


By SPP Reporter


Rhoda Grant MSP – ‘This pilot is of vital importance to every community throughout the Highlands and Islands and it is essential that more public money is invested.’
Rhoda Grant MSP – ‘This pilot is of vital importance to every community throughout the Highlands and Islands and it is essential that more public money is invested.’

GOVERNMENT funding allocations for broadband should be urgently increased, according to Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant.

The call comes after Cable & Wireless withdrew its tender for the Broadband Delivery UK superfast pilot to be conducted in the Highlands and Islands.

“I am deeply concerned to learn that a second bidder, Cable & Wireless, has withdrawn its tender for the Highlands and Islands broadband pilot,” she said.

“This follows Fujitsu backing out due to the lack of public money being invested in the project. This pilot is of vital importance to every community throughout the Highlands and Islands and it is essential that more public money is invested in this project – so far only 10 per cent of the estimated costs have been secured.”

Mrs Grant said at the moment Westminster is investing more in broadband in Scotland than the Scottish Government is and argued this needs to change.

She said the SNP needs to introduce its broadband action plan with immediate effect and urged an increase in the amount it is investing in Scotland’s digital future.

Mrs Grant is also appealing again to the UK Government to release the remaining money it has set aside for rural broadband – around £167 million.



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