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Mobile 'notspot' areas to benefit from rates relief pilot

Some of the worst areas for mobile phone coverage will be at the centre of a new pilot to boost the telecoms network in rural Scotland.

Olivia   Midgley

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Olivia   Midgley
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The rates relief, lasting five years, is part of a wider package of measures under consideration
The rates relief, lasting five years, is part of a wider package of measures under consideration

Under the Scottish Government scheme, non-domestic rates relief will be offered to encourage the provision of mobile services in so called ‘notspot’ areas - two within Arran and one within Cairngorm.

 

The rates relief, lasting five years, is part of a wider package of measures under consideration to encourage investment, which could potentially include further relaxation of planning legislation, usage of public sector assets and the capital subsidy of masts.

 

’No area is left behind’

 

Islands Minister Derek Mackay said: “Through this approach we are demonstrating early support to Mobile Network Operators while monitoring the impact the relief has on delivering improved connectivity. If successful, we will look to extend this scheme throughout Scotland to ensure that no area is left behind.


“The Scottish Government remains committed to removing barriers to investment in mobile and this pilot forms part of a wider action plan designed to maximise 4G mobile coverage in Scotland which we are developing in collaboration with the industry.”

 

4,500 miles with no mobile signal

 

Earlier this month Highland MP Drew Hendry called on the UK Government to take action to plug mobile phone signal gaps on 4,500 miles of road around the country.

 

He highlighted a recent RAC report, which revealed there were about 4,500 miles of road where there was no mobile phone coverage signal, meaning drivers could not call for help in the case of a breakdown, accident or emergency.

 

Among the roads which have stretches with no mobile phone signal coverage at all, are the A93 in Scotland, A149 in East Anglia, A494 in Wales and A591 in Cumbria.

 

A further 28,975 miles of road (12 per cent) have only partial 2G coverage.

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