Rural areas set to get connected

MOBILE coverage should get better in many parts of the Borders following OFCOM’s announcement that it will start holding auctions for service providers next year.

Bidding will not begin until early 2013 and the regulator says it expects consumers to start getting services in late 2013. Plans should see mobile broadband rolled out to at least 98 per cent of people in rural areas, with the auction offering the equivalent of three-quarters of the mobile spectrum currently in use – some 80 percent more than released in the 3G auction in 2000.

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP David Mundell said: “This is much-welcomed news for the hundreds of people and businesses across our region who have been hampered by poor reception for too long.

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“Investing in rural infrastructure will help improve the local economy and improve the lives of local residents.

“The investment in mobile broadband has the potential to deliver much-needed services to outlying communities that have little meaningful access to the internet at present.

“In a region like ours, modern communication technology is not just a commodity, it is a necessity in the 21st century.”