Hamlet near Hawick is hooked up to 4G network

Rural residents won’t have to drive to nearby villages to get a mobile signal after a hamlet near Hawick was hooked up to the 4G network.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 15th February 2021, 1:37 pm
Whitropefoot mast.
Whitropefoot mast.

A 4G mast has been installed at Whitropefoot as part of a Scottish Government drive to connect so-called ‘not-spots’ areas.

It will provide vital connectivity as emergency services and mountain rescue will be able to access a reliable 4G mobile service for the first time, as well as residents, visitors and businesses.

A further 46 locations in rural Scotland are set to follow as part of a £25m Scottish 4G Infill programme (S4GI).

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Ken Graham of Whitropefoot Farm, said: “Having absolutely zero mobile signal means driving to Newcastleton to receive a mobile signal or using Wi-Fi calling through the very basic broadband service at home .

“Last year brought even more challenges for this service with a number of people being forced to work from home and the possibility of a Skype or Zoom call being completely impossible, in addition the bandwidth available made sending documents extremely slow.

“This is an exciting prospect for the community to have the ability not only to have a 4G mobile signal from EE, but the opportunity of mobile Wi-Fi broadband connection, which will make home and working life so much easier to communicate.”

Paul Wheelhouse, Scotland’s Connectivity Minister, added: “It’s great that local communities and Scotland’s emergency services will benefit from improved mobile coverage in Whitropefoot, the tenth mast to go live as a result of our direct investment and through partnership working with mobile operators. My thanks go to our partners including EE for their work in making this happen at Whitropefoot.

“The Scottish Government’s £25 million S4GI programme, in extending 4G coverage to up to 46 not spots across Scotland, is also enabling the Emergency Services Network to reach more rural communities than ever before and that is not only important for our blue light services, but also very timely given the added importance of digital connectivity.

“So, in an area renowned for its textiles, agriculture, and rich tourism attractions, extending the network will offer a much needed lifeline to families and businesses impacted by the ongoing pandemic, given Covid restrictions mean so many people are home schooling, home working or needing to keep in touch with family and friends via digital technology.”