Media Release: Broadband recommendations to form the heart of upcoming rural manifesto


For attention: diary editors/planning teams

THE launch of the new manifesto of Scottish Rural Action (SRA) will take place at 11am on September 8 in The Amsterdam Suite of the Apex Grassmarket Hotel, 31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2HS. All media are invited to attend.

The manifesto (copies will be available on the day) will contain hard-hitting recommendations from the SRA Broadband Working Group, and calls for a Scottish Broadband Conference – bringing together all stakeholders, including the Scottish Government, community projects, network providers and suppliers, to resolve delays in broadband roll-out and share views and solutions.

Other recommendations include:

1. That the Scottish Government should redirect resources to quickly facilitate the provision of community/national backhaul, local backbone networks and community hubs to support access networks, priming the pump for Internet Service Providers to provide connectivity, either commercially or through community projects, possibly including state aid-funded projects.

2. That the Government, having made the commitment to reach 100 per cent super-fast coverage, should accept that this is a stepping stone to ultra-fast speeds and ensure that there are clear upgrade paths available to all rural networks.

3. Rural communities should be supported through access to specialist advice according to their needs, which might include business planning, technical advice, help with funding, legal guidance regarding way leaves and other support. There needs to be a mechanism for accessing such support and sharing knowledge amongst community projects in a collaborative way, rather than a centralised point of blockage.

4. Existing rural broadband and rural initiatives and resources should be co-ordinated to best respond to rural broadband requirements and overcome obstacles that currently impede rural broadband deployment. These should be addressed and managed by the team responsible for reaching 100 per cent, as a singly-managed project, with clear accountability for delivery.

The manifesto includes proposals for improvements in policing, tourism, business development, communities, democracy and governance, depopulation, education, energy, environment, housing and planning, health services and land ownership.

Amanda Burgauer, chair of SRA, said: “The manifesto has been formed following engagement with people across rural Scotland – from the Borders to Shetland and Fife to Benbecula.

“It presents the shared views of people in rural communities about the issues of greatest importance and the measures which are needed to ensure these communities thrive.

“The manifesto will be agreed at the Scottish Rural Parliament in Brechin, Angus, from 6th-8th October this year by 400 participants in the event.

“SRA, which is responsible for the Rural Parliament, will take forward selected actions, advocating on the behalf of and with rural communities to influence decision-making and policy.”

F Scottish Rural Parliament
T @ScotRuralParl

Scottish Rural Action, Moat Centre, Rothesay, Isle of Bute, PA20 0EP

For further information contact David Sinclair, SRA communications officer, at davidsinclair65@sky.com or mobile 07803 970320.

Scottish Rural Action is a company limited by guarantee. Company no. 461352. Registered in Scotland at Moat Centre, Stuart Street, Rothesay, Isle of Bute, PA20 0EP.

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Scottish Rural Action contact details…

Contact: David Sinclair
Phone: 07803970320
Email: davidsinclair65@sky.com
Website: http://www.scottishruralparliament.org.uk