The Scottish Rural Parliament are co-ordinating a campaign to help address Broadband and Mobile signal issues and to put the pressure on BT and the UK Government to take action. It takes just 30 seconds to sign their letter and petition and you will be adding your voice to many more.
It is widely acknowledged that broadband is an essential service and yet many people in rural Scotland do not yet receive even basic broadband.
It is one of the most limiting factors affecting businesses, communities and individuals in rural areas and has a significant impact on our economy.
The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband Programme, which BT has been commissioned to deliver, aims to provide fibre broadband infrastructure to areas where commercial infrastructure providers have chosen not to develop. It is the intention that combined with current commercial roll-out plans, 95% of premises in Scotland should have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2017 and 85% by the end of 2015.
Community Broadband Scotland has been set-up to focus on providing broadband solutions in the areas that are least likely to benefit from the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband rollouts.
However, until BT confirm where they will not be delivering fibre broadband connections, rural communities cannot access the services of Community Broadband Scotland. These communities are in limbo. Broadband is such an essential service that businesses do not choose to invest and people do not choose to live in places without good broadband speeds.
The Mobile Infrastructure Project was commissioned in 2010 and was allocated £150million by the UK Government to deliver mobile phone signal to rural areas where there was no signal.
The UK Government recognised at this time the importance of mobile phone signal to rural areas and the failure of the market approach to deliver this without intervention.
Mobile signal is vital for rural communities and a lack of it is, alongside the related issue of access to broadband, one of the most limiting factors affecting businesses, communities and individuals in rural areas.
The Mobile Infrastructure Project has failed to deliver the services it promised. The project completion date was in 2013 and yet so far only two masts have been installed.
To sign the broadband letter and the mobile signal petition, please visit - http://www.scottishruralparliament.org.uk/digital-campaign/