East Lothian’s MSP is calling on broadband providers to deliver for every home in the county so that no one is “left behind”.

Paul McLennan met with 14 different broadband providers to ensure people living and working in the county always have access to high-speed internet.

He is leading a new group that will contact community councils, area partnerships, individuals and businesses across East Lothian to establish a full picture of areas which need support, and to ensure that all premises are covered.

It is hoped this new group will be able to build on previous consultations and hear directly from local areas that are having internet problems.

Mr McLennan said: “We know that broadband access is crucial to ensuring that individuals and businesses in East Lothian are connected properly.

“Full digital connection allows people to stay in touch with loved ones; it ensures that local businesses have access to the cutting edge of technology, much of which is cloud-based; it guarantees that everyone in education has the same access to resources, books and digital learning platforms.”

He added that he was aware there were a number of areas in East Lothian where connection speed was much slower, but hoped this new strategy would help build on what was known already and “fill in the gaps” elsewhere.

He added: “In addition, we can look at case studies in recent years where significant improvements have been made, and map that onto some of the more complex rural areas.

“Personally, I would like to see a continuation and scaling up of current work – a combination of fibre rolled out in as many areas as possible, with full 5G connectivity across the county to address those areas where laying new cabling or retrofitting existing connections would be too complex.

“In some extreme cases we could look at new technologies, like sideline relays, to ensure full connectivity to all who want it, and that no one is left behind.”