McArthur: Cabling work an opportunity to improve broadband
Liam McArthur MSP.
Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has written to SSE and BT, as well as Scottish Ministers, urging them to ensure that any planned investment in subsea cables to the islands incorporates fibre optic. The call follows news that a consultation is under way into the possible replacement of underwater power cables serving the north isles in Orkney. Mr McArthur has previously raised this issue in the Scottish Parliament, most recently back in March, when the then Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Keith Brown MSP agreed to take up those issues with the Deputy First Minister and the energy minister .
Writing today to Scottish Government Ministers and the Chief Executives of SSE and BT, Mr McArthur has called for a commitment to working collaboratively to ensure improvements are delivered in both grid and broadband infrastructure for island communities. Commenting, Orkney s MSP said: Good quality, reliable broadband coverage is increasingly essential for businesses and households, particularly in island communities such as Orkney.
Every effort must be made to extend the fibre network wherever possible and therefore incorporating fibre in planned cabling work could kill two birds with the one stone, delivering much needed benefits to local communities in Orkney.
In the past, the Scottish Government has recognised the strong case for such a joined-up approach. There is now a chance to put this into practice. I hope Ministers will seize that opportunity and work closely with SSE and BT to ensure it is not squandered.