The Western Isles SNP has written to Scottish Government ministers requesting clarification on the implications for domestic and commercial broadband services, following the announcement of Enterprise Area status for Arnish.
Bob Duncan, SNP candidate for Stornoway South said: “One of the advantages of Enterprise Zone status is prioritised Superfast Broadband connection. The local SNP see this as an opportunity to bring 20mb fibre optic broadband to the community as well, using the same infrastructure as will be required for Arnish.
“I have written to Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Investment, asking how we can speed up the provision of fast broadband for the Western Isles by adding additional capacity to the Arnish provision. We hope to use this opportunity to roll out fibre optic broadband several years earlier than would otherwise occur.”
We believe that fast, stable and affordable broadband in one of the key infrastructural requirements if employment opportunities in the islands are to be improved.
Mr Duncan continued:
“As a Software Engineer, I fully appreciate the importance of broadband. Combined with imminent SNP Government investment to improve the broadband backbone in the islands, this plan could bring the Western Isles to the forefront of internet provision in the Highlands & Islands, allowing us to compete for jobs and investment with other parts of Scotland and the UK.
“Given all of the natural and cultural advantages of the islands, superfast broadband will make this a very attractive area for business investment. Along with the roll-out of permanent RET for hard-pressed families and the SNP’s proposals for investment in roads, we may finally be able to reverse the long-term depopulation of the Isles.”