The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has announced that a significant funding boost is being committed to improving mobile phone connectivity in Scotland.
Thanks to the completion of the first UK Government funded rural mast upgrade, and the £75 million investment that ensured it could be delivered, the people who live and work in Dumfries and Galloway are to see greatly improved signal. Upgrading of the area’s masts comes as part of plans to improve more than 120 masts around Scotland.
Funding for the projects is delivered through the UK Governments Shared Rural Network, an initiative that brings the United Kingdom’s four mobile network operators together to create a project budget off £1 billion. The overall plan will see improvements to not just Scotland, but the rest of the UK as well.
Chloe Smith, UK Science and Technology Secretary, said:
“We are investing in the things that matter to the people of the UKM and this includes funding strong, reliable 4G signal for rural communities struggling with poor coverage.
“Our £75 million investment means people across Scotland will benefit from upgraded infrastructure that is fit for the future, starting with the first mast upgrade in Dumfries and Galloway.
“Growing our economy is one off the Prime Minister’s top priorities and this includes bringing fast, reliable mobile signal to where ever people are, giving them all the connectivity they need to work, shop and keep in touch online.”
Improvements to connectivity will see major benefits for rural communities that might previously have been held back due from grasping the full opportunity that digital transformation can offer. An important part of the delivery of these benefits will be through the new masts, that are usable by all four of the nation’s mobile network operators, to offer a greater range of provider for residents and businesses in the area. It will also provide an opportunity for local people to seize the benefits of remote working, staying connected with family and friends, shopping and banking online, and streaming entertainment.
Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Leader, Councillor Gail Macgregor, said:
“This is great news as good connectivity is now critical for citizens and businesses in our region. We all need a reliable service, from keeping in touch with friends and family to ordering online. This is part of our modern way of life and is an essential requirement, particularly in our rural area of Dumfries and Galloway.”