Broadband delay threatens Shetland ‘economically and socially’, says MSP

A legal challenge to  superfast broadband contract could see Shetlands being left behind, an MSP has warned. 

Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston claimed the challenge to the R100 programme undermined confidence that Shetland will benefit from the project soon.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has underlined just how vitally important decent broadband is for communities in Shetland,” he said 

“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 Shetland’s access to superfast broadband is vital both economically and socially.”

The legal challenge has been made by Gigaclear Ltd which lost out on the £384 million contract after ministers announced BT as the preferred bidder. 


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