Citizens Advice Scotland has welcomed a new £1bn plan by the UK's four main mobile phone companies (EE, O2, Three and Vodafone) to banish so-called "not-spots" - areas of poor network coverage in rural areas.
The UK government is looking at matching the contribution from business, but says this is not yet a ‘done deal.’
CAS Communities spokesperson Gillian Fyfe said,
“As the largest provider of consumer advice in the country, we welcome this initiative and hopes that the UK Government will respond positively so that network coverage can be expanded to more consumers across the UK.
“We know network coverage is a real problem in parts of Scotland, and we know this impacts on the ability of businesses as well as consumers to communicate effectively. Mobile phones and getting online are no longer a luxury for consumers but a vital utility to help people live, work and access services.
“Lack of connectivity can be a major hurdle for people who may be trying to claim social security benefits and complete job applications, which are increasingly moving online. So it is crucial that this investment is made by providers and the UK Government for the benefit of all consumers.”
CAS published this report last year which looked at the problems experienced by Scottish CAB clients in terms of getting online.