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Scottish MSP Shuns Ridiculously Expensive Fibre Optic Broadband for 4G Mobile

Posted: 23rd Feb, 2012 By: MarkJ
scotland uk regions mapuk lte 3g 4g ofcom mobile broadbandA Scottish Government MSP, Dave Thompson, has accused Westminster of not doing enough to ensure that Scotland gets true 98% or more coverage of 4G superfast Mobile Broadband services. Thompson also took time out to blast the "ridiculously expensive fibre optic cable" and Satellite alternatives.

The comments relate to Ofcom and the UK government's plan (here) to extend the proposed UK coverage of related next generation 4G mobile services (licenses) from 95% to "at least" 98% of the population. But a recent report by Arqiva has suggested that Scotland "on its own may only have 90 per cent coverage".

Dave Thompson MSP said (Strathspey and Badenoch Herald):

"That missing 10 per cent would predominantly be found in the country’s sparsely populated and difficult to cover areas, such as the West Highlands and Islands.

That is why I believe that the Scottish Parliament must press for the 98 per cent target to be met in each of the devolved nations too but unfortunately that is a matter reserved to Westminster."

Thompson also welcomed the recent news that BT had been selected as the preferred bidder to provide better broadband in Scotland's Highlands and Islands, which all happened rather controversially at the end of last year (here). "HIE intends to ensure that the requirement to provide coverage for the full area is built into the contract with BT," said Mr Thompson.

The Scottish Government released its national broadband plan last month, which aims to deliver "world-class digital access" to all of Scotland by 2020; with an interim milestone of delivering superfast broadband ("40-80Mbps") to 85-90% of premises by 2015 (full details).
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