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Digital Minister Matt Hancock has again criticised the rate of progress on rolling out superfast broadband in Scotland.

Writing in the Scotsman on Saturday (January 20th), Economy Secretary Keith Brown confirmed that 95 per cent of premises had fibre broadband access by the end of 2017.

Mr Brown also wrote in the article that Scotland has made faster progress in extending superfast broadband than any other UK nation.

However, Mr Hancock responded by stating that Scotland is lagging behind England and Wales in terms of broadband speed.

He has therefore urged the Scottish government to "up their game", as they are "missing the goal of achieving 95 per cent superfast broadband coverage".

Stewart Mackinnon, External Affairs Manager at the Federation of Small Businesses Scotland, responded by stating it is "incredibly important" for businesses that "governments work together to address any shortfalls".

"Competing programmes are difficult to communicate and risk increasing overall costs," he said.

This comes after the UK government said it plans to hand millions of pounds for a new fibre broadband rollout directly to Scottish councils, rather than to the governing Scottish National Party.

Mr Hancock told the Telegraph it is going directly to local authorities because it is "fed up with the Scottish government’s poor performance," adding that English councils are far ahead partly because they have "got on with delivering, instead of playing politics with independence".

 

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