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Mobile 'notspots' in Scotland to get £25m funding

16 initial sites have been chosen. Credit: Scottish Government

A £25 million project to address mobile phone coverage in notorious 'notspots' in Scotland has been announced today.

The Scottish 4G Infill Programme will fund new telephone masts in locations with no existing 4G mobile coverage.

An initial 16 ‘notspot’ sites have been identified, including three in the south of Scotland, and about 60 to 70 areas will be targeted throughout the project.

The programme has been developed by Scottish Futures Trust on behalf of the Scottish Government.

After the successful bidder has been selected, SFT looks forward to working with them and the mobile network operators to identify as many 4G notspots that can be addressed within the programme’s budget.

The deployment of future proofed mast infrastructure will then act as the catalyst to deliver good quality 4G coverage to those areas for the benefit of the local communities, businesses and tourists.

– Scottish Futures Trust Chief Executive Peter Reekie


Plans for better mobile phone coverage in Scottish Borders

The plans should improve mobile phone signal. Credit: ITV Border

Mobile phone signal in the Scottish Borders could be set to improve, as plans for new mobile phone masts move forwards.

Scottish Borders Council says a planning application will soon be submitted to built a 15-metre high phone mast in the Ettrickbridge area.

This would provide 4G multi-network coverage to the area, making it easier for people to get a signal.

The plans were outlined at a public meeting in the village on Tuesday (16 June).

The Council is also looking into plans for four other masts in other areas of the Scottish Borders.

Progress has been slower because a number of factors have to be taken into consideration, including power for the mast, negotiations with landowners, and transmission to the wider areas.

It's part of a national Mobile Infrastructure Project, which aims to provide better signal to 'not spot' areas:

The Council has been pushing for several years to ensure that this £150million UK project brings about the benefits promised in the Scottish Borders, and I am pleased that we are now about to see the first planning application for a mast submitted.

We have been working with local and national politicians from the UK and Scottish Government and the respective companies and associations involved to tackle mobile phone coverage in the area, in particular the five locations identified as part of the MIP where the funding is available to address these issues.”

– Councillor Stuart Bell, Executive Member for Economic Development

The council says the developments follow years of "behind the scenes" work.

Cumbrian villagers welcome technology 'world first'

Sebergham near Wigton which is trialling new technology Credit: ITV News Border

A small village in Cumbria is at the centre of a world first in mobile phone and broadband technology. Sebergham, near Wigton, is taking part in a trial of a brand new system aimed at trying to connect remote rural areas.

The new technology works via a series of small mobile antennas and, if successful, should allow all the homes and businesses to receive a mobile phone signal and access to much faster broadband.

Mal Hilton, the Chairman of Northern Fells Broadband, has been telling ITV Border more about the scheme.


Mobile phone coverage talks

Mobile coverage in the Borders has been affected Credit: ITV Border

Borders MP Michael Moore has held talks with Ofcom to discuss problems with mobile phone coverage.

The Secretary of State for Scotland raised concerns about problems Vodafone customers in Hawick have had in recent weeks, with the service having failed three times.

Mr Moore said: “The problem of poor mobile phone coverage in the Borders has been highlighted in the past couple of weeks as Vodafone customers in Hawick have been left with next to no service – a deeply frustrating situation for individuals and businesses."

“In this digital age, mobile phones are an essential part of life and it is extremely unfair that people in rural areas are not being provided with a decent service or sometimes any service at all."