Scottish Rural Broadband Funding Disappointing
PRESS ASSOCIATION -- Scottish Secretary Michael Moore has urged the Scottish Government to "cheer up" after a UK funding allocation for rural broadband was described as disappointing.
The Scottish Government received £68.8 million from the UK Government to roll out broadband in rural Scotland, £25 million more than if it had been calculated on the basis of population share using the Barnett formula.
Commenting on the announcement, Scottish Infrastructure Secretary Alex Neil said he was "disappointed with the allocation".
He added: "This announcement from the UK Government has fallen short of the expectations of the Scottish economy to the overall costs of broadband roll-out in the remote and rural parts of Scotland."
However, Mr Moore said that UK ministers recognise the need for extra finance for Scottish broadband.
He said: "The Scottish Government needs to be more upbeat. It takes a rather sour outlook to turn nearly £70 million into a setback.
"Cheer up for goodness' sake and get on with delivering the improvements to our rural communities.
"Instead of looking for the negative, they should step up and meet the challenge of matching UK Government investment in broadband for our rural communities. If they do that, we can move towards achieving the target of 90% of Scottish premises having superfast broadband - and everyone having access to at least 2Mbps - by 2015.
"If they don't invest then they will be failing Scotland's rural communities and businesses."
Following Mr Moore's comments, Mr Neil said: "We do find it funny that Mr Moore, as Secretary of State for Scotland, appears unaware that this funding allocation doesn't reflect the fact that Scotland has a third of the UK landmass and some of the most remote areas in these islands."