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Better broadband campaign continues

March 7, 2012 11:13 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Edinburgh's Liberal Democrat MP, Mike Crockart, has today written to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport urging him to support Edinburgh's application for funding under the super-connected cities banner.

Mike Crockart MPMike Crockart MPEdinburgh City Council has put in a tiered bid which sets out a menu of possible improvements to Edinburgh's broadband and wireless capacity.

Commenting, Mr Crockart said:

"A super-connected capital will benefit businesses, individuals and our capital as a whole. Edinburgh has specific challenges: its World Heritage status, high number of research institutions, universities and festivals.

"Each year our capital attracts 3.52 million visitors every year, temporarily housing 2,500 businesses at festival time and the city's bid for funding recognises the need to meet these unique challenges as well as serving Edinburgh's indigenous population.

"I hope that the Minister recognises these unique challenges and agrees to the top tier proposed by Edinburgh Council.

"Of course it is crucial that any improvement to provisions covers the entire city and does not neglect rural parts of west Edinburgh like Kirkliston, Ratho, Dalmeny and South Queensferry. Residents and businesses need broadband which is quick, reliable and fit for the 21st century.

"From the discussions I have had with broadband providers I understand that one of the key challenges in rural areas is the distance between communities. Infrastructure already exists joining those communities and if restrictions relating to the use of roadside, network rail and electricity distribution networks were eased, then I believe that the cost of delivering a broadband infrastructure would be significantly improved. This is a point I have raised with the Minister and I look forward to his reply."