Social tariffs are cheaper broadband contracts for those receiving means tested benefits, such as Pension Credit (the State Pension top-up for those on a low income). However, current take-up is low, with just 5.1% of eligible households using them, and Independent Age say that eligible older people are going without as a result.
“Connecting these properties one by one is one of the biggest broadband challenges in Europe. ” Openreach Scotland Partnership Director Robert Thorburn
” I welcome the installation of 16 new subsea fibre cables under the Scottish Government R100 programme, which will improve the connectivity of island communities across the Highlands and Islands, not least Orkney.”
“the fear now is that the R100 programme will fall far short of delivering the universal coverage promised.” Liam McArthur MSP
“The laying of subsea cables to 15 islands across the Highlands, Argyll and Bute, Shetland and Orkney represents welcome progress to achieving our ambition.” Kate Forbes, Scottish Government Economy Secretary
James Stockan, Leader of Orkney Islands Council, has voiced his frustration at digital connectivity in the islands and has criticised the Scottish Government on what he says will be delays to deliver the programme in 2021.
A Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (SBVS), funded by the Scottish Government, has been launched.
Gigaclear Ltd has mounted a legal challenge on the proposed awarding of the contract for the North.
“The Scottish Government has committed £579 million, or 96.5%, to the total cost of the programme, even though broadband is a UK Government responsibility.”
Local MSP Rhoda Grant, Labour, has criticised the Scottish Government for delays in the delivery of Superfast Broadband across Scotland.