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Stone calls on Government to get north connected to web

By Matt Leslie

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North MP Jamie Stone has urged the Scottish Government to connect the whole of Caithness to the internet.

While many in the county enjoy broadband access, there are others who are still finding it difficult to get a connection.

Just over 18 months ago, the Scottish Government unveiled its superfast broadband scheme which aimed to deliver internet access of speeds exceeding 30 Mbps to all households and businesses in Scotland by 2021.

However, with regard to the far north, Mr Stone claims the Scottish Government is behind schedule and failing his constituents as the £600 million superfast broadband project was hit by further delays.

The power to legislate for telecommunications is reserved to the UK Government but the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are responsible for the practical delivery of broadband roll-out with the SNP pledging 100 per cent access to superfast broadband in the 2015 election.

Mr Stone, the Liberal Democrat MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, said: "The Scottish Government continues to fail my constituents when it comes to broadband.

"A lack of access to functioning, let alone superfast, broadband in the far north greatly disadvantages Universal Credit claimants, farmers and crofters, businesses – all who desperately need quality online access.

"The Scottish Government has had four years to iron out details of how to deliver its election promise but despite all the talk my constituents still lack the access they were promised.

"The SNP Government must now admit it has failed and get to work delivering the improvements that it has been talking about for over five years."

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