Scottish 5G rollout accelerates with new masts
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:
The debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament Scottish Parliament Building (copyright::Colin / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Scottish government has announced plans to accelerate the rollout of 5G across the country with a scheme to identify 124 new mast locations.

The scheme will aim to identify sites on public buildings and streets to install new 5G masts and antennas, and reduce barriers to installing them.

A total of 124 mobile masts are due to be installed in an effort to improve both 4G and 5G coverage in rural areas of Scotland.

The scheme, which forms part of the Infralink programme led by the Scottish Futures Trust and Scotland 5G Centre, has been described as a “game-changing move” by connectivity minister Paul Wheelhouse.

Wheelhouse said: “The changes in the way we use digital technology to stay connected over the past 12 months have shown how vital reliable digital connectivity is in all of our lives.

"Continued investment in mobile infrastructure, and the tools to remove barriers and make collaboration straightforward for all parties involved, is essential to Scotland's social and economic recovery from the pandemic."

The proposals come a week after the UK government invested heavily in improving central Scotland’s internet connectivity as part of the initial roll-out of its election pledge to achieve gigabit-capable broadband connectivity nationwide by 2025.

More than 5,300 homes and businesses in Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Stirlingshire, Greater Glasgow and Lothian are now set to gain access to gigabit speeds thanks to the first £4.5m to be awarded from the UK government’s gigabit programme.

Sarah Eynon, Infralink programme lead at Scottish Futures Trust, said the continued investment in connectivity "offers a win-win situation for both the public sector and operators, but Scottish citizens and businesses will reap the ultimate rewards".

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