MSP launches campaign for better broadband
19/11/10 10:42 Filed in: News
Nanette Milne, Conservative MSP for the North East has launched a campaign to secure better broadband for communities across the North East.
The MSP’s campaign will ring true with people in and around Kintore. Frustration at the broadband service is running high after three major outages in the BT Broadband network in recent months (see footnote at bottom).
"North East homes and businesses deserve access to the latest 21st Century technology,” Nanette says. “It’s time to end the digital divide and deliver superfast broadband to all parts of the country, including rural areas.
“While we are seeing some parts of the country given the opportunity for even faster broadband services, North East communities are being left behind. It is extremely frustrating for individuals and businesses who cannot get broadband connectivity at all and it is holding businesses back. I know from speaking to local people in rural communities that they have faced specific problems with connectivity in the past and it is therefore very disappointing that we have seen no upgrades to local telephone exchange.
"Already there is a two-tier communication system in Scotland and every year it seems that we are seeing an even larger gulf in technology being offered to the cities compared to rural areas. This underlines that there is an urgent need for all of North East to be broadband-enabled and for the SNP Scottish Government must make North East communities a priority for broadband connectivity investment.
“As part of my campaign I am carrying out a survey of local residents and would be interested to hear the personal experiences of people across North East. Please drop me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Ensuring adequate broadband services for local people is as important in the 21st Century as road, rail, electricity and water connections were in the last century. I am determined to make sure North East is not left behind.”
I’m know many others have the same sort of experience as myself. I signed up for ‘up to 8MB’ BT Broadband, only to find that my maximum speed was not 8MB but apparently 4MB. (It would be interesting to hear the motor manufacturer who would defend advertising that his car was capable of 80mph, but when it is delivered, you are told that it will only do 40mph!)
Unfortunately the reality has been even poorer than BT’s actual maximum for the area, with speeds at peak times being less than 1MB!
- In the space of five days at the end of October, there were two major outages – one lasting for eight hours. Speaking with others afterwards, I know I was not alone in finding that the BT faults line simply gave the engaged tone and dropped my call. When there is a power cut, you get an information line with recorded updates. I’m sure BT have the technology to install an 0800 line that would keep people informed.