Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser has slammed the SNP’s latest delays to the roll-out of superfast broadband to Scotland.
R100, or the Reaching 100% programme, is the SNP’s pledge to roll out super-fast broadband to 100% of Scotland’s inhabitants by 2021.
In a written answer to the Scottish Parliament, the SNP has admitted there have been unexpected delays and they won’t even sign a contract to deliver this flagship policy until the end of 2019.
This leaves an impossibly short time for the Scottish Government to achieve their promise.
A year ago, Fergus Ewing, the rural economy secretary was so sure that this would be achieved he famously said he’d resign if the Scottish government didn’t deliver it on time.
Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, has slammed the SNP government for leaving Scotland’s rural communities at a significant disadvantage.
Commenting, he said: “This is a damning indictment of one of the SNP’s main projects and shows how it has failed to reach its target. Broadband is one of the main issues I receive complaints on from constituents.
“Many residents in Perth and Kinross, particularly up in Highland Perthshire, have contacted me to report shockingly slow broadband speeds, which is something this Scottish Government should be addressing.”
He continued: “Far from nearing completion we are now learning that the contracts for the R100 programme won’t even be in place until sometime in 2020.
“The SNP asked the UK Government for the powers and funding to rollout superfast broadband, but then overpromised and under delivered, leaving our remote and rural communities at a significant disadvantage.
“In an attempt to outmanoeuvre Westminster, the SNP Government ended up outmanoeuvring itself; whilst superfast broadband is being rolled out to communities in England and Wales, people in Scotland are being left behind.”