Mundell questions UK Government decision to place Borders bottom of mobile coverage pile

No mobile phone signal in the Ettrick Valley.
No mobile phone signal in the Ettrick Valley.

David Mundell MP has criticised the roll out of his own Government’s scheme to improve rural mobile phone coverage.

While north-east Scotland and Cumbria will be the first mobile black spot areas to benefit from the £150 million Mobile Infrastructure Project this year, the Borders will be among the last.

A total of 60,000 homes and businesses in poor or no signal zones will see investment by the end of 2015, which will result in masts erected on various properties and used by network operators.

Earlier this month, mobile customers in Innerleithen and Walkerburn went without a signal for nine days due to a problem at a nearby mast.

Tory Tweeddale MP Mundell said: “Whilst I absolutely support this work being carried out, I am disappointed that my constituency, which is in great need of improved coverage, will have to wait so long.

“The issue of mobile signal is frequently raised by constituents of mine, and the recent blackout in Innerleithen demonstrated the need for investment in order to improve coverage in our region.

“Given its importance to modern life, it is vital that those living and working within my constituency have access to mobile signal.

“People living in our area deserve the same quality of coverage as anyone else, and while I welcome this latest plan, more needs to be done to connect our rural communities.”