Mapping the future for mobile coverage

A new council partnership project with Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), to assess the quality of the digital signal across the region, will be launched as part of plans to improve mobile phone coverage across Argyll and Bute.

The initiative is being supported with £25,000 from the Digital Exclusion Fund – match funded by SFT - which was established by the council to assist communities which are outwith any commercial or government programme to secure a Superfast Broadband (SFB) connection.

It will deliver a detailed mobile coverage map which would have huge benefits for local communities, particularly those in remote areas.

The project and funding was approved at the council’s Policy and Resources Committee on Thursday 15 February 2024.

The mapping exercise will be carried out using the council’s fleet of bin lorries and will deliver a much more technologically advanced picture than that currently available including signal strength, upload and download speeds and which frequency (2,3,4 or 5G) an area is using.

Councillor Liz McCabe, Policy Lead for Islands and Business Development, said: “For most of us, mobile phones are an essential part of daily life and, for many people in our rural communities, they can be the only means of communication.

“That means, of course, that the availability of a robust and reliable mobile signal is critical for digital inclusion in Argyll and Bute. A mobile coverage map would have huge benefits for our local communities, particularly individuals and local businesses who pay for a level of service they cannot receive. 

“This new partnership with SFT will help us get an accurate picture of mobile phone coverage across Argyll and Bute. This is an important step in our drive to deliver improvements to the digital infrastructure, which is so critical to the future of our region socially and economically.”



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