West Side community to benefit from expanded 4G mobile connectivity programme

A West Side community is among dozens of rural areas reported to be benefitting from expanded 4G mobile phone coverage.

The Scottish government has today (Monday) announced that Reawick has received improved digital connectivity as part of a £28.75m programme.

The Scottish 4G Infill (S4GI) programme is aimed to help more people – from Shetland to the Borders – get online.

It has reached its halfway point with 28 phone masts now activate and the remaining 27 to be connected by 2023.

Sites in Foula and Skerries are currently at the “pre-build phase”.

Mobile network operator EE is providing 4G services across all but one of the new sites, all of which will be capable of supporting multiple operators in the future.

Economy secretary Kate Forbes said 4G had proven “transformational” for members of rural communities, who have been able to enhance how they work, communicate and access services.

“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,” she added.

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

It is backed by £17.48m of Scottish government funding and £11.27 million from the European Regional Development Fund to support activity in the Highlands and Islands.

Chief technology officer at BT Group, Howard Watson, said: “In an increasingly digital world, bringing reliable connectivity to remote areas of Scotland is ever more important.”


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