£3.75 million to improve rural connectivity

Nine additional mobile masts announced.

MOBILE coverage in some of the most rural parts of Scotland will be improved with an additional £3.75 million investment.

A further nine masts are earmarked for the Scottish Borders, Highlands, Angus and island communities, along with three to replace masts removed earlier this year.

Marking the latest phase of the Scottish 4G Infill (S4GI) infrastructure programme, the masts will provide more rural homes and businesses with 4G mobile connectivity for the first time.

It takes the total funding package for the programme, being delivered by WHP Telecoms, to £28.75 million.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said: “Digital connectivity is crucial to Scotland’s economic recovery and this latest investment in rural areas furthers our commitment to tackle the nation’s mobile ‘notspots’

“Extending the programme’s reach brings lasting economic, social and environmental benefits. As we move out of lockdown, increased mobile connectivity will help bridge the digital divide between rural and urban areas, allowing people to work more flexibly and sustainably while keeping communities safe and connected.

“This in turn advances the Scottish Government’s wider green development goals in the run up to COP26 in November.”

Martyn Cheyne, WHP’s Strategic Development Director, said: “WHP welcomes confirmation of this additional funding and this is excellent news. By extending the programme’s reach into more communities it will bring life enhancing connectivity to residents and businesses.

“It is also a sound endorsement of the programme’s success to date, which WHP is pleased to have played a part in, and has paved the way for the Shared Rural Network.”

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