CAB - 7 Oct 2020 - 10 Oct 2020 - Advice

Community / Move to install 4G mast in Skerries hits snag

The community of 7Hans J Marter/ShetNewsApproaching Skerries on a plane. Hans J Marter/Shetland News

PLANS for a 4G mast in Skerries have reached a standstill following a lack of interest from mobile network operators.

A mast on the island of Bruray had been proposed by the Scottish Government through its new programme to bring 4G mobile internet to rural locations lacking network coverage.

The site in Skerries was part of the programme’s initial 16 target sites and one 4G mobile network operator initially expressed interest in using the site.

However, an update from the government has confirmed that despite the site having planning permission and landowner consent, firm interest has not been secured from a 4G operator.

“For this reason, the site is currently unable to progress,” the government said on Monday.

The programme requires an agreement with a 4G mobile network operator before a mast can be installed.

High speed 4G mobile internet arrived in Shetland a few years ago and coverage has expanded to areas across the isles since.

The government’s Scottish 4G infill programme has pinpointed two other sites for masts – one in the westside at Reawick and another in Foula.

The Reawick site has planning permission and in Foula discussions continue with the local authority, landowners and mobile operators over finding a location.