South Scotland Labour MSP and Scottish Labour’s Connectivity Spokesperson Colin Smyth has said that delays to the rollout of the R100 programme which aims to roll out super fast broadband across the Borders are unacceptable and were completely avoidable.
The announcement in the delay to the roll out of the R100 programme was slipped out on Friday in response to a Government Initiated Question. The response to that question confirmed that there were delays over the procurement process.
The R100 programme aims to fill the gaps in previous super fast broadband schemes to ensure that 100% of Scotland can benefit from super fast broadband.
The latest figures from Think Broadband show that 15.5% of properties in the Borders have no access to super fast broadband.
Colin Smyth said, “These delays to the SNP Scottish Government’s flagship R100 programme were completely avoidable. With the Government being unable to carry out a procurement process it will feel like to many people across the Borders that it will be years until rural areas have an equal footing to the Central Belt when it comes to digital connectivity.
Rural areas like the Borders are already on the back foot when it comes to digital connectivity as nearly 16% of households are still not able to access super fast broadband. The R100 programme matches the ambition of rural communities to not only be on an equal footing but a digital step up. The SNP must accept that these delays are completely unacceptable.”