Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has received correspondence from hundreds of constituents about the lack of broadband connection in remote and rural areas in the Highlands and Islands
At the end of last month Mr Gibson sent out the first part of a consultation to enquire about the state of broadband around selected communities in the region. To date he has received over 500 responses with more consultations still to go out and more still coming in.
Mr Gibson says at the moment a trend is emerging that broadband across the region is very patchy and has called on broadband providers to sharpen up their act.
"The responses so far shows that whilst some areas have broadband they are functioning on a level which is barely better than dial up. Indeed there are still areas that rely on dial up. This situation is intolerable and shows that parts of the Highlands have a second class broadband service."
"Much of the complaint is levelled at the BT monopoly for rural broadband. The exchanges are full or they are 'at the end of a thin copper line' therefore the high speed connections they are promised is substantially below that. Companies that supply broadband should offer the people throughout the region the best possible service or give them a rebate."
Mr Gibson said that once the he has gathered the responses then he would be presenting the findings to the responsible Minister Jim Mather as well as the providers of broadband in affected areas. Parts of Orkney and Ross-shire will receive consultation papers in the near future. In the mean time he has asked those affected by poor broadband connection (or those that do not receive it) to contact him with the details - firstname.lastname@example.org.