Euro leader calls for more clarity on Scottish broadband rollout header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

A leading figure in the European Commission has called for more clarity on the rollout of super-fast broadband in Scotland. 

Speaking to the Sunday Herald, the organisation's director general for communications networks, content and technology Robert Madelin said the likes of BT need to be "less opaque" about their actions.

He told the newspaper that by revealing more of its plans for when and where super-fast services will be rolled out, those communities that are set to miss out will be able to pursue alternative options.

"My honest sense, and this is not specific to BT, is that [big telecoms and local government] need to show a bit more transparency about the places that are not going to get to within in a couple of years, and this [information] would unleash a lot more local activism," Mr Madelin stated.

He said the current culture surrounding broadband is too focused on having a "top down" solution and called for honest statements to be made about projects.

Mr Madelin pointed to France, where the leading telecoms companies have been more forthcoming about their coverage plans, as an example to follow.

The European Commission figure claimed it is vital the nation has a good level of broadband access for the education of young Scottish people. 

As a country with a significant rural population, many areas of Scotland struggle to achieve a fast and reliable level of connectivity. The problem tends to be most severe in the country's remotest regions such as the Highlands and Islands. 

While the government is working to roll out super-fast connections to 95 per cent of Scotland, whether it will achieve this goal has been questioned. 

A report released by the Royal Society of Edinburgh's Digital Scotland Working Group in March claimed the project was more likely to only improve connectivity for 80 per cent of households.

However, BT has defended its progress on the rollout saying it is currently working ahead of schedule.