Rural Broadband Consultation

Last week saw the government publish its proposals about how it will define the Universal Service Obligation for Broadband rollout.

They propose guaranteeing a service for 95% of the country so somewhat less than universal!   Inevitably I fear that a chunk of that remaining 5% will be in the isles.  It is an unacceptable position and I shall continue to pursue it with ministers.  The obligation will not be available for anyone until 2020 so there is still time for a change of heart.


Oil And Gas Action.

I was pleased to see that the Chair, Chief Executive and all board members of the recently established Oil and Gas Authority visited Shetland to see for themselves how the industry works here and what it means to the local community.   It was a visit I had urged them to make some months ago and I was pleased that they came.   

Read more here.


EE Network Turns On 4G in Kirkwall, with other areas in the pipeline.

The last digital forum heard promises of service improvements in the Northern Isles by mobile phone provider EE.  This was on the back of commitments secured from the companies by the last coalition government.   These have now started to happen - there will be more to follow.

Read more here.


Renewables In The Isles

Still on the energy beat, this time on renewable energy, I was disappointed by the minister's response to my question about the "islands strike price" at Energy Questions this week.  

Read more here


BBC Charter Renewal

The last day of the parliamentary session (the new one starts next Wednesday with the Queen's Speech) saw the publication of proposals from the government to overhaul how the BBC is managed and funded. From now on those watching BBC programmes on-demand will be required to have a TV Licence. Having said that I am pleased that the Licence Fee will not rise above inflation until 2021-22. I also think there is some merit in the idea that Ofcom will now have much more teeth in its role as the independent regulator of the BBC.  The White Paper is found here.


Government adopts Carmichael call on mobile phone coverage

Northern Isles MP, Alistair Carmichael, is celebrating victory in the fight for consumer power on mobile and broadband services.

Read more

Tories Preparing To Abandon Isles Renewables - Carmichael

Northern Isles MP, Alistair Carmichael, has attacked the government for the continuing delay in submitting the EU state aid application for an “Islands Strike Price” for renewable energy companies operating in the isles.  

Read more

Carmichael – All parties must make positive case for EU to prevent UK sleepwalking into Brexit

Northern Isles MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called on all political parties in Scotland, especially the SNP, to focus on presenting a positive case for Britain’s EU membership instead of endless speculation about a second independence referendum. 

Read more

Government Must Not Walk Away From Rural Broadband Provision – Carmichael

Northern Isles MP, Alistair Carmichael, has warned the government that they must not walk away from rural communities when rolling out broadband to all areas of the UK. 

Read more

Carmichael presses Prime Minister to increase the 1% government funding for brain tumour research

Northern Isles MP, Alistair Carmichael, has used Prime Minister’s Questions to urge David Cameron to look again at national spending on brain tumour research which currently stands at just 1% of UK funding on cancer research. 

Read more

Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or Email.