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Digital Revolution Failing to Connect with Scotland's Rural Communities

Thousands of homes and businesses across Scotland will still be without a
fast and reliable Internet connection, despite the Scottish Government’s
latest multi-million pound broadband initiative.

In July this year, deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced a £264
million investment that aims to connect 95% of Scottish properties to superfast
broadband by the end of 2017.

But satellite broadband provider, John Fitzgerald, is warning that the
Government’s pledge will fail if it continues to rely solely on fibre optic

John’s company, Internet Anywhere, is Scotland’s biggest re-seller of the
Tooway satellite system.

In recent months, he has seen a growing demand for high-speed satellite
broadband among people and businesses in rural and remote parts of
Scotland, who are not prepared to wait any longer for fast, reliable Internet

“People are turning to alternatives like satellite technology to get online and
it's helping to transform their lives, safeguard rural communities and
provide essential services to remote areas,” said John.

“Two-way satellite broadband is fast, cheap to install and reliable. It’s the
only technology that can guarantee 100% Internet broadband coverage
throughout Scotland and it’s available now,” he added.

Chairman of Scottish Land and Estates, Luke Borwick, made the decision to
install satellite broadband in his Ayrshire property after becoming increasing
frustrated with his landline connection.

“We used to described our email as snail mail. I couldn’t download any
decent files; my connection was incredibly slow and it was totally unreliable.
It was completely frustrating.”

Despite being located just five kilometres from the nearest exchange, Mr
Borwick was told that there was no chance of being supplied with an
improved broadband connection.

“I heard about satellite broadband technology after one of my tenants had a
dish installed. He has a film and photographic business and needs to be
able to download large files. Without fast, reliable Internet, he would have
gone out of business. It made such a difference to him, that I had no
hesitation in trying it out,” Mr Borwick explained.

“For me, satellite broadband has proved invaluable. Likewise, my ability to
work from home has been transformed by the speed of the satellite link. I
couldn’t recommend it enough.”
Now, John from Internet Anywhere is urging the Government to consider
satellite technology as part of its broadband commitment.

“The Scottish Government has committed to delivering a world class digital
infrastructure, but the reality is that it will only ever reach 85% - 95% of the
population,” John added.

“That might sound good, but in actual fact, that still leaves thousands of
homes and businesses without decent connections. People should not be
penalised because they choose to live and work in our rural communities,”
he said. 

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