Shetland MSP and Scottish Liberal Democrat Beatrice Wishart has today responded to an analysis of Ofcom data revealing that Shetland has one of the worst internet connections in the UK.
The findings show Shetland has the second poorest internet access in the UK, with just 2.1% of premises able to access ultrafast broadband and over 30% unable to get superfast broadband.
Superfast and ultrafast are significantly faster than standard broadband, enabling several people in a household to use the connection at the same time, with higher quality of video calls and faster download speeds.
Ms Wishart has previously highlighted that the Scottish Government’s own figures show there have only been four applications for the Broadband Voucher Scheme out of more than 1800 eligible households in Shetland. This was set up by the Scottish Government to connect homes not included in the current workplan for fibre connection.
Responding to the findings, Ms Wishart said:
“The ranking of Shetland as having the second worst internet connection in the UK is further proof of a digital divide that is disadvantaging islanders.
“Lack of connectivity negatively impacts residents ability to complete everyday tasks such as online banking and virtual classes, running a home business and staying connected with friends and family.
“These figures illustrate the failings of the Scottish Government’s R100 scheme, which intended to ensure everyone in Scotland could access superfast broadband by the end of 2021.
“Instead we have a situation where communities are divided with only some able to access the higher speed internet. The R100 Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme has also failed to reach the intended households.
“The Scottish Government needs to recognise the negative impacts poor internet connectivity is having and support effective broadband rollout that leaves no one behind.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Herald article which published these figures can be found here: Orkney and Shetland amongst four Scots areas with 'worst internet connections in the UK' | HeraldScotland