The UK Government tells the SNP MP that Na h-Eileanan an Iar and other Scottish Islands “will see one of the greatest improvements of any area”.

After a chain of questions from Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP, Angus MacNeil on mobile and 4G mobile coverage, the UK Minister Edward Vaizey responded that under the 4G mobile coverage improvement agreement announced on December 2014, the Scottish islands will see one of the greatest improvements in the UK. According to the minister’s response, under this agreement, partial not-spots will be halved and not-spots will be cut by two-thirds.

Angus MacNeil MP said:

“I have maintained pressure on the UK Government on the issue of the badly needed 4G coverage in the Western Isles. I am anxious to see these important improvements and to do so sooner rather than later, particularly as 2G and 3G coverage in the Western Isles has failed miserably.

“The SNP Government is in the process of having high speed broadband cable installed which is an important component of better mobile coverage as it provides what is called “backhaul” support to wireless mobile, in addition to providing homes and businesses with high speed broadband over the next 2 years.

“I am glad that pressure and continual work on mobile coverage has led to this situation where the failings are appearing to be understood in Westminster.  I will of course keep pressing this issue to ensure that there will be delivery and that we have a mobile service in the islands as good as other similar places in northern Europe and the mainland.

“Mobile telephones are no longer a luxury, but are a social economic and sometimes even a health service utility.  It is high time that the UK Government fulfils its responsibilities to the islands as in the past we have been left behind badly by their approach to mobile coverage.”


Ministerial Answer to Angus MacNeil MP’s Parliamentary Question: