MSPs writes to BT over rural broadband concerns

Angus North and Mearns MSP, Nigel Don

Angus North and Mearns MSP, Nigel Don

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Angus North MSP Nigel Don has expressed concerns to BT about broadband service to rural homes.

Responding to news that BT is carrying out pilot installations in England which will give “speeds of up to a few hundred megabits per second” to homes and businesses by 2020. Mr Don said: “BT is telling us that it “is currently expanding the reach of its fibre network by working with the public sector across the UK. Its network already passes almost 22 million premises – around three quarters of the UK – and is open to all communications providers on an equal basis. Its expansion will help the UK to boast 95 per cent coverage for fibre broadband within the next few years.

“This wee quote tells us all we need to know: BT is simply not interested in the hard to reach parts of the country; our rural communities – my constituents who are more than a few miles from an exchange. I have written to BT expressing my concern that we must not be forgotten. The HNS is not going to be able to deliver services in the future without local broadband access for at-a-distance consultations. Many educational opportunities require good broadband access. Given that BT are de facto the providers of the infrastructure it’s time they started worrying about the last five per cent who are most difficult to reach.