Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford has supported SNP calls for the UK Government to fix Scotland’s poor mobile phone coverage – following a report which shows that only 17% of Scotland’s landmass has 4G coverage, compared to 60% in England.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) told MPs at this week’s Scottish Affairs Committee that the UK Government must act to fix Scotland’s “unacceptable” mobile phone coverage.
SNP MP Drew Hendry has continuously raised this matter in Westminster. Commenting, he said:
“The Tories continue to let down rural Scotland, they must now, belatedly, take action to improve Scotland’s mobile phone coverage – it is the responsibility of the UK government, and it is unacceptable that only 17% of Scotland’s landmass has 4G coverage, compared to 60% in England.”
Stirling MSP, Bruce Crawford, added:
“Telecommunications sadly remains a reserved power to the Westminster Parliament and rural Stirling has been woefully let down by the Tory Government.
“The lack of any UK-wide strategy from the Tory Government in London has caused the Scottish Government to step in and take the lead in this area.
“Last August, the Scottish Government launched the first phase of a 4G infill programme that aims to deliver 4G mobile coverage to Scotland’s not-spots.
“In the meantime, I support the work being undertaken by SNP MPs in Westminster in calling for regulatory change to improve coverage in the longer term. For example, Ofcom could introduce tougher obligations for mobile service providers ahead of accepting bids by companies for 5G.
“It is simply unacceptable that access to a decent 4G signal is a rarity in many rural parts and the responsibility rests at the feet of the UK Government. I hope that this recent and helpful call from the FSB will encourage Tory Ministers to sit up and take the needs of rural Stirling seriously.”