SNP Business and Industry spokesperson at Westminster Drew Hendry MP has said that it is now clear that the UK Government’s ambitions are ’far behind’ those of the Scottish Government and that Scottish families, businesses and communities will have a access to much better and faster provision of Broadband than proposed by the Tories at Westminster – despite the considerable geographical challenges in Scotland.

Drew Hendry made the comments following an interview by Tory minister Matt Hancock this morning in which he confirmed the ‘on demand‘ programme which is likely to cause concern that it does not go far enough. The Tories will simply give people the right to ask for high speed Broadband by 2020 rather than guaranteeing a connection by that point.

In addition, people south of the Border will only be able to access Broadband which is only one third of the speed that will be available in Scotland – with the Scottish Government’s investment ensuring speeds of 30mbps, rather than the 10mpbs being proposed by the UK Government.

Drew Hendry MP commented:   ‘’The Tories ambitions for Broadband delivery are deeply disappointing and their ambitions are far behind those of  the Scottish Government.

‘’The ‘on demand’ proposition sounds like a cop-out and it is clear that families, business and communities in Scotland will be much better served. Meanwhile, the regulator Ofcom’s latest report has again confirmed that Scotland is currently rolling out superfast Broadband at a faster rate than the rest of the UK.

‘’The Tories’ poor offer come just days after the SNP Government announced a £600m investment to bring superfast Broadband to every single home and business in Scotland – the largest ever public sector investment by any government in the UK with the vast majority of the funding coming direct from the Scottish Government. dwarfing the commitment of the UK Government.

‘’The Scottish Government has committed to extending superfast access to all of Scotland by 2021 – with speeds of at least 30Mbps – and committed £600 million to delivering that; the UK Government has decided that just 10Mbps is sufficient for the rest of the UK.

“The fact is, despite the considerably more challenging geography north of the border, Broadband is being rolled out at a far faster pace in Scotland than it is elsewhere in the UK, and it will offer considerably faster connection speeds that the second-rate service that Mr Hancock’s government are offering people in England.

“It is clear that despite all of their bluster, the Tories are determined to leave the UK in the slow lane – while SNP Government investment will ensure Scotland is one of the most digitally connected nations in the world.”