North East MSP Mike Rumbles has added his voice to a Federation of Small Business (FSB) campaign, launched today, calling on the UK Government to intervene on mobile phone coverage in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Liberal Democrat MSP also urged the Scottish Government to do more to target rural blackspots.
4G coverage in Scotland is the worst in the UK. With only 30% of Scotland’s landmass covered in comparison to 45% in Wales and 73% in England. Obligations proposed by Ofcom would require operators to raise the coverage in Scotland to 76%.
Mr Rumbles said:
“The FSB is quite right to raise this issue. When it comes to new technologies in connectivity and telecommunications infrastructure, rural communities in Scotland have been left behind and that is not good enough.
“Having a decent mobile phone reception or access to 4G is no longer a luxury, it is absolutely essential for our rural economy. Being denied reliable access puts local businesses at a huge disadvantage.
“Our governments in both Edinburgh and Westminster must do more to target rural blackspots. We’ve heard a lot of promises from both the SNP and the Conservatives but anyone who lives in a rural, remote and island community will know that progress is glacial.”