New figures from industry regulator Ofcom show that more than 11,000 properties in the Scottish Borders are still without a superfast broadband connection.
The information, published in the regulator’s Connected Nations: Spring Update, also conclude that over 8,000 properties in the Borders do not have a speed of 10 Mb/s, which Ofcom deem is the speed necessary for an average family.
With nearly 19% of premises unable to receive a superfast broadband connection, the Scottish Borders is one of the least connected local authorities in the UK, and considerable worse than the Scotland wide figure, of 9% of properties unable to access superfast broadband.
These figures from Ofcom are more accurate than the Scottish Government’s own figures because they take in to account the loss of speed along a copper wire.
The information comes just days after the Scottish Minister in charge of delivering superfast broadband boasted that the Scottish Government’s progress in delivering superfast broadband had been “remarkable.”
The Scottish Affairs Committee today heard from Ofcom and the Secretary of State for Digital, Matt Hancock MP who said that that more people would have access to superfast broadband if the Scottish Government wasn’t still sitting on £20m in funding handed to it in 2014.
Speaking after the meeting, John Lamont MP said: “I was astonished when the SNP Minister sat in front of the Committee and boasted about how well the Scottish Government were doing with broadband delivery.
“While Scotland as a whole may finally be catching up with the rest of the UK, the reality in the Borders is that far too many people are still without a decent broadband connection.
“This hasn’t been helped by the fact that the Scottish Government has sat on more than £20m in funding for broadband, given by the UK Government in 2014.
“These figures show the scale of the problem and it comes as no surprise to me to learn than more than 11,000 properties in the Borders do not have access to superfast broadband.
“In this day and age, a decent internet connection is a necessity, not a luxury, which is why it was the right move by the UK Government to create a universal service obligation and to work directly with local authorities for the next phase of broadband delivery.
“The 11,000 properties in the Borders still waiting for superfast broadband will view the SNP’s boasting as remarkable.”