North last in line for R100 contract

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, has expressed disappointment at the North of Scotland coming last in the delivery of the R100 contracts.

Responding to a government initiated question, the Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Paul Wheelhouse, advised that Procurement for R100 has been split into three lots – North, Central and South – with funding allocated to each. The Minister advised that BT plc were the only bidder for the Central and South lots, and that, subject to due diligence and governance, the Scottish Government intends to proceed to contract with BT as soon as possible.

The Minister however also advised that more than one bid was received for the North and they will announce a preferred bidder in due course.

Rhoda Grant said “It is disappointing as the North arguably requires investment in connectivity before the central belt does. The market provides competitive broadband in the central belt however the same cannot be said in the North where we have some of the lowest broadband connections in the country.

Mrs Grant concluded “I will continue to press the Minister to proceed with awarding the North contract as soon as is practicably possible.”