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

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.

Home broadband speeds are improving – but how quickly?

It’s comforting to know our internet is getting faster, but progress still lags behind Government targets.

Home broadband speeds are improving – but how quickly?Home broadband speeds are improving – but how quickly? Read more

The biggest malware threats of 2020…so far

It’s been a year few of us will forget in a hurry, and we're only halfway through.

Read more

Instagram could become the main news source for young people.

Reuters finds changes in the way younger users consume the news.

Read more

Help Learn with us

Make the most of the internet with our broadband library.

The importance of reviewing and renewing your broadband contract

Even if you have a busy family life and a demanding career, it’s vital to set aside time for reviewing and renewing your broadband contract

The importance of reviewing and renewing your broadband contractThe importance of reviewing and renewing your broadband contract Read more

How to check if your broadband is down

It might seem obvious that an outage has occurred, but there are easy ways to check if your broadband is down, or whether the problem is more localised

Read more

A guide to Big Tech alternatives.

It seems like we’re reliant on a small group of companies, are there alternatives?

Read more

Quick tips for boosting home broadband speed

Read more