MP Welcomes Rural Connectivity Investment


Categories: 4G, Constituency, Infrastructure, Rural Affairs, Telecommunications

4G Masts Helicoptered for Installation

Alyn Smith, the MP for Stirling, has welcomed Virgin Media O2’s investment in his constituency during a visit to the first of seven new 4G masts being built in Stirling, which will significantly boost mobile connectivity in the area. As part of its commitment to the £1bn Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme, Virgin Media O2 will be building seven new partial not-spot masts in the area.

During a visit to one of the company’s new 4G masts in the area, which has been flown in by helicopter to the remote location in Killin, the MP was updated on Virgin Media O2’s progress in building more than seven sites in Stirling as part of the Shared Rural Network Programme.

Thanks to upgrade works underway, the area is set to benefit from a complete transformation in mobile connectivity which will tackle countless not-spots and areas of patchy signal. 

These new upgrades will provide residents, as well as businesses and visitors to the area, with faster and more reliable mobile connectivity than ever before, making it easier to access online services and stay connected with friends and family, while also offering them a greater choice of provider.

Currently, nearly a third (29%) of the area lacks 4G coverage from all four mobile network operators – Virgin Media O2, Vodafone, EE and Three – with signal blackspots creating an issue for local people and visitors alike. The Shared Rural Network upgrade programme is set to help tackle this, providing essential connectivity to people in historic not-spots such as this.

Alyn Smith, the MP for Stirling, said:
“I am delighted to see further Virgin Media O2 investment in the area of Stirling that will help ensure that my constituents have access to reliable mobile connectivity. As with many rural areas, Stirling has previously been at a disadvantage when it comes to connectivity.

“It is fantastic to see how the company is bringing mobile coverage to this beautiful part of the world, which will have a positive impact for the businesses, residents, and visitors to the area. I believe that Virgin Media O2 is really setting an example of how to properly invest in rural networks.”

Jeanie York, Chief Technology Officer at Virgin Media O2, said: 
“At Virgin Media O2, we are committed to playing our part in bringing reliable 4G coverage to communities all over Britain to help bridge the urban-rural digital divide. We’re going to extraordinary lengths to connect the most remote and isolated locations, including using helicopters to fly in phone masts where we need to, as part of our unwavering focus on delivering the Shared Rural Network programme.

“Many rural parts of Scotland are already benefiting from our rollout of new and upgraded masts, and we are delighted to bring enhanced mobile connectivity to the beautiful area of Stirling. Our Shared Rural Network rollout continues at pace, with more locations set to benefit in the near future.”

Alyn Smith MP’s visit took place just months after Virgin Media O2 announced it had built or upgraded a landmark 100 company-managed Shared Rural Network sites. This means the operator has gone further than any other to deliver new infrastructure as part of the SRN programme.