Cumbernauld misses out of £700K broadband fund
Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 00:38 GMT on Monday 4th February, 2013
Picture is copyright of Scott Campbell/ Cumbernauld Media.

CUMBERNAULD will not receive funding for better broadband, to the dismay of local residents and Councillors.

Councillors in Cumbernauld have reacted with disappointment to news that the town is not set to benefit from a package of funding for super-fast broadband.

Cumbernauld North SNP Councillor, Alan Masterton said he thought that the decision is "incredible", given the "clear broadband deficiencies".

"It's even more of a betrayal for local residents who went to a significant amount of effort to supply the council with information on this issue," he said.

As part of the £700,000 funding package, North Lanarkshire Council and the Scottish Government were to identify areas in need of more infrastructure investment, as part of a project which saw residents fill in surveys, detailing their experience with broadband.

According to local media reports, many residents have reported slow download speeds and patchy, unreliable coverage. However, despite the town’s anguish, regeneration officers have now said the area will not qualify for the £700,000 package that could have linked hundreds of homes and businesses up to super-fast broadband.

A statement from North Lanarkshire Council said that the authority would pass on received local concerns to the Scottish Government.

"The Government provided broadband maps showing areas to be commercially developed for high-speed next generation broadband,” said Paul Jukes North Lanarkshire Council’s executive director of Environmental Services.

“We cross-referenced all these areas with the council’s Local Plan to identify priority areas which might require financial assistance to allow them to benefit. Our aim is to invest in broadband with the aim of maximising economic impact.

“We are very well aware of the concerns of Cumbernauld residents and have passed their comments and submissions to the Scottish Government."

Last year, an Infrastructure Action Plan was unveiled for Scotland that aimed to complete a "step change" in broadband by 2015, bringing speeds of 40 to 80 Mbps to at least 85 per cent of properties.

Despite the problems, however, Cumbernauld’s south side has widespread availability of Virgin Media cable broadband and FTTC from Openreach, whilst northern residents have almost no cable broadband.

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