Tavish calls for Shetland Communities to come forward for Rural Broadband Scheme

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has today called on communities across Shetland to come forward for a rural 3G broadband scheme being run by Vodafone UK.

Vodafone have recently launched a national programme giving up to 100 rural communities across the UK the opportunity to apply for mobile access, is searching for communities to apply for the installation of Vodafone’s Open Sure Signal technology to bring 3G mobile coverage to their area.

Vodafone’s initial Rural Open Sure Signal trial, which has been successful in Walls, has seen the connection of 12 rural communities across the UK and has been met with real enthusiasm. Communities connected so far have been able to enjoy social media using mobile internet whilst many businesses now benefit from having a strong and reliable mobile signal, helping to improve the way which they can work and access information and customers.

Commenting on the scheme, Tavish Scott said;

“Access to broadband which is both high speed and consistent is incredibly important to people in Shetland. Online communication has become the new norm allowing friends to communicate via social media and local businesses to stay in touch with customers much more effectively. However, for many in more remote parts of the isles, this service is simply unavailable.

“The problem of poor signal and mobile broadband in a number of areas in Shetland has been one which has angered many. People understand that in rural and remote areas, networks can struggle to deliver coverage via traditional means, but it is still incredibly frustrating that any progress seems to be slow.

“Although the scheme is by no means a complete solution to the problem, having seen the benefits which the initial pilot has provided in Walls where people are now able to make calls and use good quality mobile internet, I am asking people in areas with poor or non-existent coverage to get in touch so we can make the case for them in the same way Walls has already benefited from this initiative.”

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