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Calls for Scottish Government to match new broadband funding

Orkney Parliamentarians Alistair Carmichael MP and Liam McArthur MSP have urged the Scottish Government to match new UK funding for internet services and close the digital gap between the north of Scotland and other areas of the country.

Mr Carmichael and Mr McArthur were speaking after UK culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced that the UK Government is to spend £530 million to support online services in areas where access to high-speed broadband is restricted. Scotland is in line to receive almost £69 million of this additional funding.  The Scottish Government will be responsible for the allocation of these new resources.

This latest investment is part of government plans for the UK to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015, with 90 per cent of homes and businesses having access to superfast broadband and everyone in the UK to have access to a connection of at least 2Mbps.

Mr McArthur said: “Few issues are raised with me more often by constituents than that of broadband and the need for improved access to a better and faster service.  Whether it is used as an integral tool for local businesses or for leisure and social purposes, the importance of broadband in the isles cannot be overstated.”

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