MSP Rona Mackay has spoken out in the Scottish Parliament about the lack of superfast broadband in Woodilee Village near Lenzie.
The Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP asked for reassurance from Fergus Ewing MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity on May 31.
At a portfolio questions session, Mr Ewing responded informing Ms Mackay that there are plans in place for Woodilee and by 2021, 100 per cent of Scotland would have access to superfast broadband.
He said: “The digital Scotland superfast broadband programme has further fibre broadband deployment plans for Woodilee Village in Lenzie. Any premises that are not connected through the digital Scotland superfast broadband programme will be captured through our commitment to delivering 100 per cent superfast broadband access by 2021.”
The Scottish Government has invested £400 million to hook Scots up to superfast broadband by 2021 and 95 per cent will be up and running by the end of the year, Mr Ewing said.
He added that in Strathkelvin and Bearsden last year, despite being rolled out commercially, the cabinet secretary told how 7,450 premises had been provided access to fibre optic broadband, 94 per cent of which were capable of running at a superfast speed.
Ms Mackay said: “Constituents have made it clear to me in Woodilee Village that they are very unhappy at the lack of access to high speed broadband.
“I agree with their concerns, and to try and find some clarity on this I have brought it to the highest ranked politician in Scotland involved with connecting the country up to superfast broadband.
“I have received reassurance from the cabinet secretary that by 2021, 100 per cent of Scotland will be hooked up and that there are already plans afoot for fibre optic broadband connections in Woodilee. While this is four years away, I am hoping it will happen sooner rather than later.
“The work the Scottish Government has been doing to connect up Scotland to superfast broadband is remarkable. In Strathkelvin and Bearsden we do have excellent coverage, but now is just about ensuring everyone has access as quickly as possible.”
Questioning exchange at portfolio questions
Superfast Broadband (Strathkelvin and Bearsden)
Rona Mackay (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (SNP):
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the roll-out of superfast broadband in the Strathkelvin and Bearsden constituency. (S5O-01042)
The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity (Fergus Ewing):
The £400 million investment that the Scottish Government and our partners are making through the digital Scotland superfast broadband programme will extend fibre broadband access to at least 95 per cent of premises by the end of this year. Without that investment, only two thirds of premises—66 per cent—would have been reached. Although most of the superfast broadband roll-out in the Strathkelvin and Bearsden constituency is being delivered commercially, the programme had, by the end of last year, provided fibre broadband access to 7,450 premises in the area, 94 per cent of which were capable of accessing superfast speeds.
At my surgeries, many constituents who live in Woodilee Village in Lenzie and constituents from other rural areas have expressed concern about the roll-out of superfast broadband. Will the cabinet secretary reassure my constituents that they will have access to superfast broadband within the timeframe that the Scottish Government has set out?
The digital Scotland superfast broadband programme has further fibre broadband deployment plans for Woodilee Village in Lenzie. Any premises that are not connected through the digital Scotland superfast broadband programme will be captured through our commitment to delivering 100 per cent superfast broadband access by 2021.