Campaign for better broadband gathers force

30 October 2009

The campaign for better broadband for the Highlands and Islands will going to the highest levels of government, as Peter Peacock and a range of key stakeholders meet the Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and the Minister driving the Digital Britain strategy to improve broadband across the UK.

Peter Peacock said, "I am delighted Stephen Timms has given me some of his time while he is in Scotland, to listen to representations about the need to ensure the Highlands and Islands fully benefits from better broadband as it is rolled out across the UK.

"I have pulled together representatives from a range of organisations with an interest in the issues so the Minister can hear first hand how business and the public sector in the north view the opportunities from, but also the challenges of delivering better broadband.

"This will be a great chance to get our message across that, the Highlands and Islands with its enormous geographic challenges, needs the support of the UK government's strategy on broadband if we are to secure the infrastructure we need and help us to be competitive into the future."

Stephen Timms MP said, "I am looking forward to this meeting. It is a chance to hear from a range of stakeholders and to push the case for next generation broadband throughout Scotland, especially its rural areas.

"The UK Government is committed to improving a service which is proven to increase jobs and economic prosperity for outlying areas and will be taking a range of measures - including legislating - to support our strategy to ensure every part of Britain benefits from better digital technology.

"It would be socially and economically unjust for rural Britain to be dependent on slow and unreliable broadband while urban areas reap its benefits. Improving these networks is our priority and the 200m we have set aside to fund the Universal Commitment will first be spent in areas with little or no service."


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