Connectivity pledge

New masts to tackle rural mobile ‘notspots’

Phone mast

Masts will erected in a number of locations (pic: Terry Murden)

Rural businesses are promised better mobile connections after the government announced an additional £3.75 million investment in new masts.

Nine have been 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.

Kate Forbes new

Kate Forbes: connectivity (pic: Terry Murden)

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.”

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