Beatrice Wishart, the Scottish Liberal Democrat’s candidate for Shetland has today repeated calls for further action to improve connectivity in Shetland after a recently published NFU Scotland survey highlighted the digital divide impacting those in the rural and farming communities.
Ms Wishart has called on the Scottish Government to address the issue with some urgency. In the survey 78% of respondents highlighted that poor broadband is limiting their business, 48% noted that their mobile phone signal is either poor or very poor and a staggering 77% of respondents describing their connection as 'not fit for current or future needs’.
Commenting Ms Wishart said:
"This survey brings home how badly rural businesses, and those in island communities like Shetland, have sadly been caught on the wrong side of a digital divide.
"Local businesses are being held back from reaching their potential because of inadequate broadband or poor mobile phone signal, or both.
“Communities cannot thrive without digital infrastructure. If we are serious about encouraging new generations to live and work here then digital access is a must in order to learn, develop and innovate.
"People remember the broken promise of the SNP government when it said it would “ensure” that all homes and businesses across Scotland have access to superfast broadband by 2021.
"As we focus on putting recovery first we need a digital network that is fit for the 21st century and delivers for all the islands.”