Superfast broadband roll-out welcomed by MSPs

News that superfast broadband will now be rolled out to various locations in Wigtownshire has been welcomed by local MSPs Alex Fergusson and Aileen McLeod.

The broadband will be going live this winter in Newton Stewart, Wigtown, Port William, Whithorn, Sandhead, Leswalt and Lochans, plus more in other parts of Scotland.

Galloway and West Dumfries Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson said the roll-out will benefit a number of communities in Galloway and West Dumfries constituency.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted to hear that Leswalt, Lochans, Newton Stewart, Port William, Sandhead, Whithorn and Wigtown will all benefit from this roll out. This is the latest phase of the £410million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme and it will make a significant difference to the communities in which it is about to be installed.

“The entire programme is a perfect example of partnership working, with funding coming from the Scottish and UK Government’s, Local Authorities, the European Regional Development fund and BT. By adding all of these resources together, it is clear that a considerable difference can be made in a relatively short time. It is anticipated that some 95% of premises in Scotland will be able to connect to fibre broadband by 2017/18.

“It is good to know that these communities in my constituency will be connected well ahead of that target date.”

South of Scotland MSP Aileen McLeod agreed. She said: “I am delighted with this further announcement from the Scottish Government of the next communities across Galloway to be upgraded to next-generation broadband. I am particularly pleased to see much more rural parts of Galloway starting to benefit from the rollout too.

“Reliable access to fast broadband is now a major business requirement given the extent to which business is now transacted online. And broadband has the potential to overcome physical distance and rurality and allow businesses across our region to find new markets.

“I can also imagine its potential in other areas of activity. For example, to promote Whithorn as the cradle of Christianity in Scotland and a site of major historical significance, perhaps through a virtual pilgrims route as well as the European Cultural Route we eventually hope to establish.

“I think that we are only scratching the surface as far as the potential of digital technology is concerned and once we see more and more of the region connected we will really start to realise the benefits.”