McLeod highlights mobile signal deficit on region’s roads
46% of Dumfries & Galloway’s roads network has little or no mobile coverage
SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Aileen McLeod is backing calls on the UK Government to prioritise rural areas for mobile phone coverage after a report revealed that nearly half of roads in Dumfries & Galloway have little or no coverage.
The RAC Foundation report highlights how drivers who breakdown on 1361 miles of Dumfries & Galloway’s roads either cannot call for help or will struggle to do so because there is little or no mobile phone coverage.
“This report really makes the case for the UK Government to prioritise rural areas for the release of the 5G mobile spectrum, which is only a few years away. They must commit to ensuring that there is a “Universal Service Obligation”.
“The report is clear that on nearly half of Dumfries & Galloway’s roads you will either not be able to phone for help at all or hope that your network happens to have coverage, which will certainly not always be the case.
“There are not only safety but social and business issues affecting those areas where mobile operators have yet to have any incentive to cover. There are major benefits to our economy and to the well-being of our people that have been denied to many and far too slow to catch up for others. This has been going on since 1991 when 2G was first launched and the same lack of attention must never be allowed again.
“The picture is even worse when it comes to provision of 3G services and I am particularly concerned about this since having a mobile data connection can be immensely useful for community nurses, health visitors, home care workers and other professionals who need to visit people in their homes.
“This report highlights perfectly just why it is so important that decisions on mobile coverage are taken with a view beyond just making quick and easy income for the Treasury.
“In a time when we rely on our phones to do so much, it is inexcusable that there are still hundreds of miles of Dumfries & Galloway’s roads where we cannot even make a basic call or send a text. Mobile phone companies should be held to a universal service obligation which will ensure that all parts of the nations of the UK have adequate mobile coverage.”
Notes to Editors:
The RAC Foundation report can be found here: