Broadband delay threatens Moray “economically and socially”

Moray risks being left behind as further legal problems threaten the roll-out of superfast broadband to the Highlands and Islands.

That’s the concern of Highlands and Islands Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston who is warning that a legal challenge to the R100 programme is undermining confidence that Moray will benefit from the project anytime soon.

Mr Halcro Johnston said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has underlined just how vitally important decent broadband is for communities in Moray.

“More people than ever before have been using the internet for accessing information on healthcare - including video consultations, while it has been absolutely essential for many pupils to keep in touch with school and for online learning.

“And, of course, many local people have continued to work, but from home, and some local businesses have built online shops to increase the services they can offer and to support their local communities.

“This is a trend that will only accelerate in the future, and improving Moray’s access to superfast broadband is vital both economically and socially.

“That is why it is so desperately disappointing that this latest dispute is threatening the digital upgrade across the Highlands and Islands.

“There has been a catalogue of errors and delays by the Scottish Government in handling this project, and it risks leaving communities like Moray behind.  

“We need a categoric assurance from ministers that the service will be introduced no later than promised.”