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Improving rural connectivity

Enhanced 4G mobile phone coverage programme reaches halfway point.

A £28.75 million programme has ensured 4G mobile phone coverage has been expanded in dozens of more rural areas.

Improved digital connectivity has been delivered by the Scottish 4G Infill (S4GI) programme to help people across the country, from the Shetland Islands to the Borders, get online.

The programme has reached its milestone halfway point, building and activating 28 phone masts, with the remaining 27 on track to be connected by 2023.

Residents and businesses in Bogton, in Turriff in Aberdeenshire, were the latest to benefit from the programme.

Mobile network operator EE is providing 4G services across all bar one of the new sites, including the new Bogton mast, but all sites are capable of supporting multiple operators in the future.

S4GI is delivered in partnership with WHP Telecoms Ltd and the Scottish Futures Trust.

Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said:

“The Scottish Government is helping more residents and workers get online and tackling some of Scotland’s longest standing mobile phone signal black spots.

“The availability of 4G services has proven transformational for members of these communities, who have taken advantage of new connectivity to enhance how they work, communicate with friends and family, access public services, purchase products and services and consume entertainment.

“The Scottish Government wants to build on that, through our National Strategy for Economic Transformation, to capitalise on the ability of enhanced digital connectivity to encourage innovation and growth. We will all need to work together to create a more prosperous, fairer and more sustainable nation.”

Rob Tanner, a farrier and online table tennis coach near Bogton, said:

“Being able to post videos and carry out coaching sessions without any problems is fantastic.

“I can now download a TV programme in seconds instead of hours, which is amazing.”

Background

S4GI is a Programme for Government 2021-22 commitment, backed by £17.48 million Scottish Government funding and £11.27 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support activity in the Highlands and Islands.

For more information, see the Scottish Government S4GI webpages.

Live mast site locations:

 

Collieston, Aberdeenshire

Blairmore, Highland

Manish, Western Isles

Ettrick, Scottish Borders

Lemreway, Western Isles

Strathconon, Highland

New Luce, Dumfries and Galloway

Tarskavaig, Highland

Applecross, Highland

Bunessan, Argyll and Bute

Traquair, Scottish Borders

Glenbarr, Argyll and Bute

Ae, Dumfries and Galloway

Glenborrodale (formerly referred to as Glencripesdale), Highland

Polbain, Highland

Killilan, Highland

Chapeltown, Moray

Reawick (formerly referred to as Selivoe), Shetland

Whitropefoot, Scottish Borders

Ranish, Western Isles

Littlemill, Highland

Loch Head, Dumfries and Galloway

Auchenhessnane, Dumfries and Galloway

Bogton Turriff, Aberdeenshire

Cairngarroch, Dumfries and Galloway

Baymore, Western Isles

Deerness, Orkney

Burray, Orkney

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