Alan Reid MP welcomed the promise of high-speed broadband this summer for the Lochgilphead, Campbeltown, Rothesay and Craignure exchanges, but also spoke of the frustration felt across Argyll and Bute by people waiting for a decent basic broadband speed in the first place.
He also hit out during the Commons debate on rural phones and broadband today at the lack of anything concrete for many other parts of Argyll & Bute.
"The Scottish Government and BT must be much more open and tell people when, or if, their home or business will be connected to fibre-optic broadband," Mr Reid said.
“Bringing superfast broadband to rural areas is vital. I am pleased that more than 20 per cent of the Government’s investment in superfast broadband—more than £100 million—was given to the Scottish Government to bring superfast broadband to rural areas in Scotland," he said. "However, delivery was left to the Scottish Government, and they gave the contract to BT Openreach.
"Cables have been laid and some addresses have been connected to the new superfast broadband, but most of Argyll and Bute is extremely frustrated that neither the Scottish Government nor BT can tell them when, or even if, they will get broadband. Some people on very slow speeds tell me they do not want superfast broadband; they just want a decent broadband service."
He said that not knowing what is happening prevents people from making other arrangements, such as wireless or satellite.
On the situation of constituents in Dunoon with very slow broadband speeds, he added,
“It is not just in remote rural areas that problems arise. BT promised that the town of Dunoon in my constituency would get superfast broadband paid through BT’s own resources last year. However, this was postponed without any announcement—it was only when people started complaining that we found this out—and it is supposed to be happening this year, but there is still no sign of anything happening. Some constituents receive extremely slow broadband speeds of well under a megabit in some cases. It is high time that BT got the work done and gave my constituents a decent broadband service.”