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McArthur pushes for isles priority in superfast broadband rollout

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has called on the Scottish Government to prioritise areas with the poorest broadband coverage, following news that the court case regarding the roll out of the Scottish Government’s R100  contract in the Highlands and Islands has been settled.

Speaking on the issue of superfast broadband and digital connectivity, this week, Mr McArthur said: “News that the legal challenge to the government’s broadband contract for the Highlands & Islands has been settled is welcome.

“However, this is now a programme that is well behind schedule.  Ministers therefore must get on and make up for lost time.

“Too many rural and island communities remain unable to access an affordable and reliable superfast broadband connection.  This glaring digital divide in Scotland has been cruelly exposed during the Covid pandemic with people being forced to work and study from home.

“As the R100 programme is now taken forward, the Scottish Government must prioritise those areas with the poorest coverage, such as Orkney, through an ‘outside in’ approach.  The voucher scheme may have papered over the cracks but it falls short of what was promised.  It is time for Ministers to deliver on their R100 promises.”