Saturday 25 May 2024
 12.1°C   ESE Gentle Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Community / MP pleased to see ‘steady progress’ on rural mobile coverage project

Photo: Shetland News

NORTHERN Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has welcomed the progress made by a UK Government project designed to boost 4G mobile coverage in rural areas.

But he said there is “no room for complacency” when it comes to meeting deadlines.

The £1 billion Shared Rural Network scheme will see EE, O2, Three and Vodafone build and upgrade masts to end partial ‘not-spots’ where only some operators provide 4G.

New figures show that in the Highlands and Islands coverage from all mobile network operators is set to rise from 26 per cent to 68 per cent through the project.

Coverage from at least one is due to rise from 73 per cent to 91 per cent.

A consultation is now open with the telecoms industry to identify any existing infrastructure which can be utilised to end total not-spots.

Carmichael said: “That the Shared Rural Network continues to make steady progress despite the pandemic is good to see.

“With four years left until the government’s self-imposed deadline for these improvements to be complete there is no room for complacency – particularly as connectivity has only become more important for our work and personal lives in the last year. We cannot go back to the old normal so we must press on with making our digital connections better.

“Further consultations announced this week should not be an excuse for inaction but they can be a chance for the reality of need and opportunity in the isles to be more clearly heard.

“I would advise anyone with an interest in the further expansion of network coverage here to make their submissions as soon as possible.”

Conservative MSP for the Highlands and Islands Jamie Halcro Johnston meanwhile said increasing 4G could “make the world of difference to many local people and businesses”.

“Good communications connectivity for our communities is so important in supporting the jobs that allow people to live and work in rural Scotland,” he said.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

“But this is only the start of the improvements we need to see. We also need SNP ministers to deliver on their much promised but much delayed R100 broadband rollout.

“Access to fast, reliable broadband is vital, but we’ve been let down too many times by Scottish Government rhetoric which is vastly differently from reality.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.