Responding to the news that BT has signed a contract to deliver the North Lot of the Scottish Government’s R100 programme, Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart said:
“This is welcome news that brings some more certainty to the rollout of superfast broadband in Shetland. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has made this digital divide all the more obvious. Lack of reliable internet access is hampering the ability for islanders to keep connected, whether for learning, socialising or accessing services.
“It’s now important that survey work happens swiftly so people know exactly when and how they can expect the be connected. There have been so many broken promises in the R100 saga that people deserve a realistic timescale.
“The Scottish Government’s R100 programme was supposed to deliver superfast broadband to every home and business by 2021. It’s been clear for some time that commitment won’t be delivered. A contract for Southern Scotland was signed last year and work there is not expected to be completed until summer 2024. We need to see drive to make sure work in the North Lot progresses quickly and efficiently so people in island communities aren’t left further behind.”