24th May 2019
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Shetland’s broadband among the worst

The Northern Isles have come last in a ranking of Scottish broadband speeds, according to research from Which?.

The consumer affairs publication analysed speed checker data in all 32 Scottish council areas as well as England and Wales.

At three megabits per second Orkney was found to have the slowest speeds in the country. Shetland came second from bottom in Scotland and third-last in the UK with speeds of 6.7Mbps.

The fastest speeds in Scotland are found in areas including West Dumbartonshire (29.6Mbps), Inverclyde (26.9Mbps) and Dundee (23.1Mbps). Even the Western Isles, at 11.5Mbps, has speeds nearly twice as fast as Shetland.

List MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston said that the report highlighted a need for government investment in Shetland’s infrastructure.

The Conservative member for the Highlands and Islands said: “I am disappointed to see Shetland lagging so far behind the rest of the country in broadband speeds. Shetland is getting a poor deal and it is rightly a matter of real concern for people here in the islands and across the Highlands and Islands.

“I recognise Shetland’s unique geography, but to fulfil its own commitments the Scottish government must make it a priority to investment in the islands’ infrastructure – including broadband connectivity.”

Paul Wheelhouse, minister for connectivity and the islands, said: “This report highlights what we already know – that it is more challenging to deliver and upgrade broadband infrastructure in rural areas.”

The Scottish government has vowed to make sure all of Scotland has access to superfast broadband (speeds greater than 30Mbps) by 2021. Mr Wheelhouse said that 93 per cent of homes and businesses in Scotland already have access to superfast broadband.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, said: “It’s incredibly frustrating that so many Scots are still struggling to get a good broadband connection when so many of us rely heavily on the internet to carry out important everyday tasks.

“The Scottish Government must now press ahead with plans to provide 100 per cent of the homes in Scotland with a decent broadband connection and make sure that no one is at a disadvantage because of where they live.”

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