The Stirling Observer is publishing a series of statements from General Election candidates on set topics. Here’s what Chris Kane had to say on RURAL BROADBAND ACCESS:
“It simply is not acceptable that fast, stable broadband speeds are not available to everyone. Our communities need to be swept along in the digital revolution, not swept aside by it. Labour has committed to deliver universal, superfast broadband availability within five years. Labour will improve mobile internet coverage and expand provision of free public wi-fi. A Labour government will instruct the National Infrastructure Commission to report on how to roll out ‘ultrafast’ (300Mbps) across the UK within the next decade. We need innovative solutions and creative thinking. The public purse is all too often funding the roll out of fibre broadband and then letting private companies decide who gets it, how they use it and what price they pay for it. Our rural communities are being let down with the current system. So let’s change it. Broadband should be delivered to community not commercial priorities. That’s why I want to see a people’s broadband company. Not just for internet services, but for green energy and public transport. We need to support great ideas when we see them. I’m in awe of the villagers of Balquhidder who were so fed up of poor broadband that they said stuff it and began digging trenches and laying cables. I was also disappointed and a little angry that they were forced rather than helped along that path. We need to ensure our communities benefit from the transformational opportunities of the digital age. The Labour-led administration on Stirling Council signed a deal earlier this year to see a Gigabit internet connection brought to Stirling. A huge part of the City Region Deal involves creating an infrastructure to allow Stirling to grow a digital economy. Labour wants high tech jobs flowing into the city and surrounding communities. I want our children to have every opportunity to flourish in a digital world without having to contemplate leaving their community to achieve their dreams. If elected as your MP, I’ll work hard for the many not the few – and that means communities as well as people.”
Read more in Scottish Labour’s manifesto here.