Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford has launched a consultation with rural communities across the Stirling area on access to 4G mobile internet services.
Mr Crawford has previously hit out at the handling of the rollout of 4G, following calls from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) for the UK Government to do more to address the lack of access in Scotland.
The call came after it had been revealed that 60% of England’s landmass had access to 4G, whilst only 17% of Scotland’s did.
The rollout of 4G remains a reserved power to Westminster under telecommunications.
Following a question in Parliament last month from Mr Crawford on 4G coverage, Scottish Government Minister Humza Yousaf responded:
“Despite telecoms being reserved, the UK Government lacks a plan to increase 4G access beyond what the market has delivered. We are taking action, investing £25M in our Scottish 4G Infill Programme. This will deliver future-proofed, 4G mobile infrastructure and services to around 60-70 complete 4G notspots. The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Connectivity launched the procurement for this programme on 12 March.”
Mr Crawford has since written to residents in a number of communities across the rural Stirling area, seeking their views and experiences on 4G access.
Commenting, Bruce Crawford said:
“I am deeply concerned that many parts of Scotland – particularly rural areas, including communities in my constituency – are being left behind by a lack of focus from Westminster.
“I know what telecoms companies are telling us about 4G coverage and connectivity in the Stirling area, but I am interested to know what the experiences are of residents.
“According to Ofcom, only 50% of properties have indoor coverage of 4G across all networks.
“I have already received a large number of responses to my survey from residents in areas such as Killin, Fintry, Aberfoyle and Drymen. Already, we are starting to build a picture of the experiences of residents in these areas when it comes to 4G access.
“I urge residents who have received a letter to take a couple of moments to respond to the survey – however, for any constituents who haven’t and wish to add their views to my consultation, please email me on Bruce.Crawford.MSP@parliament.scot.”