Peter Peacock MSP

Highlands and Islands Broadband campaign taken to London

26 August 2010

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Peter Peacock has made the need and case for significant new investment in broadband.

Following a trip to Rutland Telecom to learn the lessons of their broadband expansion service yesterday, Mr Peacock met Rob Sullivan, Head of BDUK, the Government’s delivery vehicle for broadband policies, in London.

An official from the Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills also attended the meeting, at which Mr Peacock set out a number of challenges facing the Highlands and Islands and potential policy solutions

He has been campaigning for better broadband over many months and has met communities and agencies in his campaign to win new funding for the Highlands and Islands.

Mr Peacock said, "There is a vital necessity for improvement in broadband in the region.

"Despite the recent slowing down of investment plans by the new Government, there is still a sum of money on the table for investment and I want to make the case for some of that coming to the Highlands and Islands.

"We know that we face the greatest challenges in delivering high speed broadband, but we also know there are solutions in sight to the problems.
"However, we need some money to oil the wheels.

"We know that the private markets will not provide the services we need because of our relatively low population and high costs of infrastructure investment, because of our geography."

He went on: "I will be stressing in my meeting today that we know some of the solutions to the challenges, that there is previous public investment to build on, and there is experience in the region in developing leading edge technology solutions.

"The need for public interventions to support broadband roll-out is not going to disappear, so the quicker we get on with it the better.

"That way we give the Highlands and Islands a competitive advantage, instead of having to play catch-up years down the road."

Mr Peacock has previously met with a number of parties in his efforts to bring better broadband to the Highlands and Islands.

These include representatives of HIE, Scottish Minister with responsibility for broadband Jim Mather, Highland and Western Isles Councils, BT, Avanti, Ofcom Scotland, the former Secretary of State for Scotland Jim Murphy, Scottish Council Development and Industry and Consumer Focus Scotland.

You can share this web page with others on social networking sites , or post it to your online profile, or send it to a friend, by clicking on the "Share This" link immediately below.



Back to previous page