Upper Braes residents ‘backed into corner’ over digital connectivity by UK Government, says Falkirk East MP

Falkirk East MP Angus MacDonald believes some Upper Braes residents are being short-changed by Westminster when it comes to digital connectivity
Falkirk East MP Angus MacDonald believes some Upper Braes residents are being short-changed by Westminster when it comes to digital connectivity

Upper Braes villages are being “backed into a corner” due to the UK Government’s lack of ambition for digital connectivity.

That is the view of Falkirk East MP Angus MacDonald who has called for a new approach to assist the area after it was revealed Holyrood has invested £600 million in a Reaching 100 Per Cent broadband delivery project, despite connectivity and broadband being a reserved matter to Westminster.

In comparison, it was revealed the UK Government has contributed £20.99m — just 3 per cent of the total funding.

Last week the Rural Economy and Connectivity committee called on Westminster to deliver its fair share of UK broadband funding.

Mr MacDonald, of the SNP, said: “Digital connectivity is an essential part of modern life and an indispensable tool for stimulating economic growth, which is why it is essential that the UK Government stops short-changing Scotland on broadband.

“Across Scotland, communities and councils trying to achieve super-fast broadband are being backed into a corner due to this Westminster Government’s complete lack of ambition for digital connectivity.

“Rural areas have been especially let down by a lack of adequate broadband coverage — including those in my own constituency, particularly in the rural parts of the Upper Braes villages.

“The Tories’ ambitions for broadband are extremely disappointing, and far behind those of the Scottish Government — despite connectivity and broadband being a reserved matter.

“The Scottish Government has committed to extending superfast access to all of Scotland by 2021 — with speeds of at least 30Mbps — and committed £600m to delivering that. It’s time for the Tories to step up to the plate and commit to joining Scotland in the 21st Century.”