Scottish Liberal Democrat Rural Economy and Connectivity Spokesperson, Mike Rumbles MSP, has called for better rural coverage of broadband and mobile connectivity. According to figures published by Ofcom, superfast broadband now covers 92% of homes and businesses and 4G coverage from at least one operator now reaches 78% of Scotland.
The Scottish Government’s 2016 manifesto promised 100 superfast broadband coverage by 2021. The 8% left to reach is mainly in rural parts of the country.
4G mobile coverage serves 90% of Scottish homes and businesses. Coverage of the motorways and A-roads is just under 50%.
Mr Rumbles said:
“You must keep your fingers crossed when driving home this Christmas that you aren’t caught in a 4G blackspot. As we rely increasingly on our mobiles, it is becoming a safety issue to have our rural countryside a 4G not-spot.
“The Scottish Government has made a lot of promises but has yet to deliver any meaningful change and it must speed up the glacial pace it has been taking to try to reach 100% superfast broadband coverage. It is our rural areas, which have been left to be provided for last.
“Reliable coverage of 4G and Superfast broadband is an investment into the future. The Scottish Government must get serious and provide rural areas with the coverage we all expect.”