The SNP has called on media and broadband providers to freeze prices and ensure people remain connected for the duration of the coronavirus crisis, and work with the UK government to increase internet speeds.
John Nicolson, the SNP’s Shadow Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary (pictured) is urging internet service providers (ISPs) to follow in the footsteps of gas and electricity suppliers by agreeing an emergency package of measures to ensure vulnerable people do not get cut off during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mr Nicolson has highlighted that with many families now working and studying from home at the same time – it is imperative that the household broadband runs smoothly and quickly.
He also raises the issue that with many children now being home-schooled, those with no or poor access to broadband – due to finances or living in a rural area – will be unfairly disadvantaged.
The SNP is calling on providers to work with the UK government to ensure increased speed and capacity and ensure that all households in the UK have good access to the internet.
Commenting, the MP for Ochil and South Perthshire said:
“Now that coronavirus has forced the schools to shut down for the foreseeable future, many students may struggle to keep up because they don’t have broadband, or good enough broadband, to study at home – it is important we do not allow this to happen.
“Internet service providers must work to ensure that no child, or worker, is disadvantaged because of poor or no broadband.
“Broadband companies must follow the lead of gas and electricity suppliers and set out an emergency package of measures to ensure people are not cut off during this coronavirus crisis for any reason, including being unable to pay bills.
“Broadband may be some children’s only route to education, and some people’s only route to being able to continue to work and earn.
“Furthermore, for many of us, the internet and access to different media channels will be our main source of entertainment whilst we are social distancing and self-isolating.
“We are all in this together, everyone is pulling their weight and making sacrifices – it is only right that media and internet providers do too.”