Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has asked Agriculture Minister Richard Lochhead to ensure more homes, crofts and businesses are connected to superfast broadband. During Agriculture Questions in the Scottish Parliament the Minister confirmed that superfast broadband roll out needs to reach those areas currently not being helped.
Tavish Scott said, "Crofters and farmers in Shetland are asked by government to fill in their agriculture support forms online. The new Single Application Form was a very difficult form to complete. Doing it online was nearly impossible unless a crofter had very good superfast broadband. Yet many croft houses across Shetland have poor if any broadband.
"So filling in a government form online means a drive to Lerwick. I have asked the Scottish Government to press on with connecting houses to faster internet speeds. It cannot be fair to insist that crofters complete forms online if they do not have broadband. So I support government investment in this area. But instead of concentrating on population centres such as Inverness, the government must push investment to the areas where houses have slow or no broadband. That would help crofters and farmers across Shetland.
Tavish Scott recently met Shetland Telecom and BT to discuss the investment in better broadband. He added, "Shetland needs all the agencies to support broadband investment across the islands. BT are the main contractor for this work. So I will continue to press the case for the most outlying parts of Shetland who as yet have no date when that investment will begin."