BT cash ‘hugely negative’ for Scottish broadband, minister claims

BT cash ‘hugely negative’ for Scottish broadband, minister claims

Wednesday, 9 August, 2017

A BT plan to lay down £600 million to cover 99% of the UK with broadband risks ruining competition, a Scottish government minister has claimed.

Scotland’s Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said in a letter to UK Secretary of State for Digital Karen Bradley that the investment “risks entrenching, even extending, BT’s monopoly position in rural areas”.

“That would be a hugely negative outcome and one that would serve to undermine and frustrate the Scottish government’s digital ambitions,” he wrote.

Mr Ewing seems to believe the BT plans would jeopardise the Scottish government’s own ideas on how to get to 100% broadband coverage.

Political rivals have been quick to denounce Mr Ewing’s claims.

Scottish Liberal Democrat connectivity spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP accused the Scottish Government of “getting its excuses in early”.

BT laid out plans last month to invest up to £600 million in broadband infrastructure. It says everyone in the UK would be able to get broadband speeds of at least 10Mbps by 2020.

Ofcom says around 1.4 million homes in the UK can not get 10Mbps.

In June analysts reported that standard broadband, the old ADSL technology which promised download speeds of up to 17Mbps, had finally been overtaken by fibre broadband.

Tom Rodgers author picture

By:

Tom is a tech journalist and former Editor at BroadbandDeals.co.uk.

News What's the story?

Keep up with the latest developments in UK broadband.

Google’s cloud gaming service to launch in November

More details about Stadia's release, requirements, and expectations.

Google’s cloud gaming service to launch in November Read more

Three launches 5G, EE complains about it

Three's marketing angers competitors over "false" 5G claims.

Read more

KCOM buyout means more fibre for Yorkshire

Hull's homegrown ISP sells for more than half a billion.

Read more

Virgin gigabit trials begin in Southampton

Nationwide gigabit takes a big step forwards with Virgin's new network upgrade.

Read more

Help Learn with us

Make the most of the internet with our broadband library.

How to get the best student broadband

How to get the best student broadband Read more

Broadband Jargon Buster

Get to grips with some commonly misunderstood tech terms!

Read more

Signs your computer may have a virus

Read more

What are the risks of using public WiFi?

Read more
Back To Top