1st October 2016
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Broadband boost as 4G arrives in isles

6 comments, , by , in News

A major new investment in high-speed communications technology has been started, bringing 4G mobile connectivity to Shetland for the first time.

EE, which forms part of BT, is today announcing it has switched on its superfast 4G mobile network in the isles covering the Lerwick area.

Chief executive, Marc Allera, says he wants to connect 95 per cent of the UK landmass, including the most extreme reaches of the country.

Broadband has been a major bugbear to many of late, with homes and businesses in rural areas losing patience with frustratingly low speeds. EE boasts its access speeds on smartphones, tablets and other devices will be 50 per cent quicker than any other UK network.

The company says it will continue to switch on 4G sites throughout 2016, and will complete coverage across all of the islands by summer next year.

Director of Shetland Islands Council’s economic development, Neil Grant, said the move was “hugely important” to the isles.

Neil Grant:

Neil Grant:

“From local residents to businesses, there is a growing reliance on mobile devices to provide greater access to information and enable easier communication with customers,” he said.

Mr Allera said: “We’ve seen the difference that 4G can make right across the UK, and I’m delighted to be able to continue making that difference in one of the most remote parts of the UK. This project shows the power of the BT Group as a digital champion for the UK, making new investments to bring high-speed communications to even the most challenging locations.”

6 comments

  1. George Dickson

    I bet t that the Director of Shetland Islands Council’s economic development, Neil Grant, said the move was “hugely important” to the isles. I would also bet my bottom dollar that he lives in an area that is covered by 4G, supplied by EE. Meanwhile, the other two thirds of the population have to make do with pidgeon post.

    Enjoy your form of reality, Mr Allera. The rest of us will get on with life while knocking on doors to spread the word that 4G is irrelevant to the vast majority of Shetland.

    Reply
    • Robert Duncan

      The rest of Shetland is getting it within the next eighteen months, putting us well ahead of much of rural Scotland, but never let that get in the way of a good moan.

      Reply
      • Stuart Hannay

        I hope that’s true – I got a letter from BT this week, following a complaint about our service in Yell, and was told there were ‘no plans’ to upgrade the system and suggesting we use satellite technology.

        It is actually quicker to do a round trip to Lerwick and download any large items there. A lot more expensive of course.

      • Robert Duncan

        Note I’m referring to 4G, which is distinct to the broadband infrastructure being installed by BT. The south end of Yell is apparently in BT’s current rollout plans, but I’d suggest if you’re in Cullivoe or elsewhere at the northern end, that you get in touch with those driving the North Isles 4 Community Broadband (ni4cb) project.

  2. John N Hunter

    EE plan to have almost the entire island covered with 4g during 2017, and any areas that turn out to be hard to reach will be offered Femtocells

    Reply
    • iantinkler

      “EE plan to have almost the entire island covered with 4g during 2017, and any areas that turn out to be hard to reach will be offered Femtocells” . O my goodness are we not so lucky!! O, Femtocells, out of date technology, and who pays for them?

      Reply

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