Home Office must match 4G commitment shown by Scottish Government


Categories: News

Local MP welcomes Kintyre mast benefits & calls on UK Government to progress plans

Argyll & Bute MP Brendan O’Hara has welcomed the news that many more people in Kintyre are now benefitting from better mobile coverage thanks to the Scottish Government’s £25 million 4G Infill programme which recently resulted in the activation of a new mast at Glenbarr.

He said: “I have been working hard to raise awareness of the need for better mobile connectivity across the whole of Argyll & Bute and am grateful that the Scottish Government has recognised the need for direct government support to fund the deployment of 4G masts in some of the most rural areas of Scotland where there is no mobile coverage from any mobile network operator.

“The requirement for improved mobile coverage at Glenbarr was identified through Scotland-wide coverage analysis conducted by the programme. The mast went live in December 2020, providing vital 4G connectivity to both residents and visitors to the area through the mobile network operator EE. Simultaneously, the mast will be used by EE to provide coverage in connection with its Emergency Services Network requirements in the location. Significantly, the mast has also enabled 999 calls to be made in those “notspot” areas where connectivity was lacking.”

The SNP MP added: “This represents a vital part of the Scottish Government’s wider portfolio of digital connectivity programmes, which includes the Reaching 100% Programme, which is delivering access to superfast broadband to all remaining hard-to-reach addresses throughout the country. This programme is crucial to Scotland’s future economic success.

Brendan O’Hara MP is pictured when a new EE mast was officially unveiled at Balvicar on Seil

“However, I know there is still much to be done and over the last few months I have been pressing the UK Government to commit to a timetable for connecting infrastructure it already has in place for the new Emergency Services Network. It is not clear why the Home Office has delayed completion of these facilities – which include ten sites in rural areas of this constituency -and I will continue to press them to do more to get the masts active so mobile network operators are able to offer better mobile coverage to many more people across this area.”