Two Shetland communities have been shortlisted for participation in a trial by one of the large mobile phone networks to boost signals using broadband connections, it emerged this week.
Hamnavoe and Walls may now take part in a pilot project known as the Vodafone Open Femto trial while Unst and Wormadale have been placed on a reserve list.
The move has been welcomed by isles MP Alistair Carmichael who recently convened a Northern Isles Digital Forum to start to put pressure on telecommunications providers to improve coverage in so-called “notspots”.
He said: “As was made clear that the recent meeting of the Northern Isles Digital Forum, poor mobile phone signal remains a real problem across Orkney and Shetland. The fact that four communities in Shetland remain in the running indicates the scale of the difficulties facing people in many parts of the Isles.
“Any solutions that could boost coverage need to be explored fully. News that Walls and Hamnavoe are on the formal shortlist for the next stage of Vodafone’s pilot project is a positive step in this regard.
“I know that people in Hamnavoe and Walls will be making a strong case for their inclusion in the pilot and will be doing what I can to support their applications.”