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Aberdeenshire village ‘not-spot’ connected to 4G for first time

The new 4G mast at Collieston. Picture from Grayling

A mobile connectivity blindspot in an Aberdeenshire village that caused problems for residents and emergency services has been fixed after a new mast was installed.

Locals in Collieston have previously struggled to make calls and access the internet as the coastal village’s location made it a 4G ‘not-spot’.

However, a partnership between EE, the Scottish Futures Trust, WHP Telecoms and the Scottish Government has delivered a mast that ensures coverage across the area for the first time.

The new site, part of the government’s £28.75 million Scottish 4G Infill (S4GI) programme, will make a difference to homes, businesses and visitors in the area, as well as services such as the coastguard and Mountain Rescue.

Chairman of Collieston Heritage Community Group Michael Earlam said: “This new EE mobile mast in Collieston has increased the village’s connectivity tremendously.

“As Chair of the Harbour Heritage Group and as a local businessman, this new mobile connectivity has made a fantastic improvement to how we live day to day and allows you to run your business from home effortlessly during this pandemic.”

Chair of Collieston Heritage Community Group Michael Earlam. Picture from Grayling

He added: “Because of poor mobile coverage I was unable to make calls or get online easily, I even had to access my WiFi via the router.

“Now we have better connectivity at home, throughout the village and right down to the harbour area.”

The S4GI programme is anticipated to have delivered up to 55 masts by the summer of 2023, including those supporting the Emergency Services Network roll-out.

Kate Forbes, cabinet secretary for finance and the economy, said: “Our £28.75 million S4GI mobile infrastructure programme continues to connect more people and businesses for the first time and it’s great to see Collieston now benefitting from this roll-out.

“Through better connectivity, this network will help renew and stimulate regional economic and social growth in the north-east of Scotland, revitalising agriculture, fishing and tourism sectors, while improving working and home life for Scottish citizens impacted by this current pandemic.”

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