Argyll and Bute broadband speeds among slowest in Scotland

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Argyll and Bute has one of the slowest broadband speeds in Scotland, according to new figures.

A study released this week by the consumer magazine Which? states only the Orkney and Shetland Islands have slower-running internet access.

The broadband speed for Argyll and Bute is rated at seven megabits per second (mbps), while for Shetland it is 6.7mbps and Orkney  3mbps.

Neighbouring West Dunbartonshire Council, meanwhile, is classed as having one of the fastest broadband speeds in Scotland.

Alex Neill, from Which?, said: ‘It’s incredibly frustrating that so many Scots are still struggling to get a good broadband connection when so many of us rely heavily on the internet to carry out important everyday tasks.

‘The Scottish Government must now press ahead with plans to provide 100 per cent of the homes in Scotland with a decent broadband connection and make sure that no one is at a disadvantage because of where they live.’

The issue of broadband service in rural parts of Argyll and Bute were previously raised at December’s environment, development and infrastructure (EDI) committee meeting by Councillor Alistair Redman (Kintyre and the Islands).

Councillor Redman, who lives on Islay, said this week: ‘I have spoken about this at area committee meetings, admin meetings and said it time and time again – there is an urban-rural divide in Scotland.

‘The rural areas have been sidelined and Argyll and Bute is one of the worst. As much as it should not be that way, it is not surprising.

‘People in rural areas are paying the same for the internet as people in urban areas, but receiving a sub-standard service.

‘Elderly people need it to stay in touch with relatives and so much trade is done online.

‘It is entirely unacceptable and I have been doing all I can to press for a plan to ensure a better service for Argyll.

‘We receive sub-standard public spending and sub-standard corporate spending. Whenever there is an outage in the internet or problems with the mobile signal, it is always us in rural Argyll who suffer the most.’

A petition for better broadband for rural Scotland can be viewed and signed at www.conservatives.com/scotlandsuperfastbroadband