Russell calls for review of areas being prioritised for mobile coverage

MSP for Argyll and Bute, Michael Russell, has called for a review of areas being prioritised for mobile coverage.
MSP for Argyll and Bute, Michael Russell, has called for a review of areas being prioritised for mobile coverage.

In a response to a petition calling for investment in better rural mobile phone coverage it has emerged that Michael Russell MSP has written to Chancellor George Osborne demanding that Argyll and Bute be moved up the priorities list.

Speaking today Mr Russell said: “In 2011 the UK government announced a £150 million boost for mobile coverage in rural areas across the UK. I have been active on this subject since my election in May 2011 due to the terrible quality of service throughout Argyll.

“Since then I have been pressing the Mobile Operators Association to ensure that my constituents can enjoy the same levels of service and coverage as those in other parts of the UK however very little improvement has been made.

“The Mobile Infrastructure Project is a welcome move however Argyll and Bute has seen no benefit at all from the fund since it was announced in 2011.

“I find it utterly unacceptable that parts of the UK are now enjoying the luxuries of 4G connectivity whilst Argyll and Bute struggles to get 3G or even any coverage at all. As a result I want a significant review of the areas being prioritised in this project and ask that Argyll and Bute be treated earlier than Phase 4.

“Argyll and Bute is a vast constituency and includes 25 inhabited islands. Rural mobile coverage here is a vital service for people both commercially and for emergencies.

“Mr Osborne claimed “personal” credit when making the announcement and now my constituents are demanding that he delivers, I am happy to support them in that and have written to him on their behalf.“