New mobile masts are set to be built in the Borders as part of the Shared Rural Network programme, a joint venture by the UK Government and mobile operators.
O2, Three and Vodafone recently announced they will be building 222 mobile masts across the UK to improve rural coverage.
Scotland is set to benefit most from the scheme with 55% (124 sites) of sites planned for north of the border.
Of the planned sites in Scotland, five will be based within the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency, which covers most of the Scottish Borders.
The construction of the new masts will commence this year. O2 say that they are currently in the pre-application process with local authorities and landowners. Once this is complete precise locations will be confirmed.
The £1 billion Shared Rural Network deal was signed last year by the UK Government to make poor and patchy rural phone coverage a thing of the past.
It means all four mobile network operators will deliver 95 per cent combined coverage across the whole of the UK by the end of 2025 and consumers can rely on their own provider’s network wherever they are.
John Lamont MP said:
“Poor mobile coverage is a really big issue for rural areas like the Borders. Although improving all the time, there remains significant ‘not spots’.
“This is major progress in tackling patchy mobile coverage in the Borders, with our area to receive at least five new masts to tackle the problem.
“The Shared Rural Network is a world first scheme seeing the UK Government and mobile providers working together to provide more coverage to rural areas.
“Digital connectivity is vital for communities like ours. The only way we can level up opportunity is by providing local businesses and individuals with the tools they need to prosper.”
Mark Evans, CEO of O2, added:
“The Shared Rural Network is a new and more collaborative way of delivering greater investment in infrastructure to improve mobile digital connectivity – a high impact enabler of economic growth.
“I am delighted that O2 is working in partnership with other mobile operators to deliver the Shared Rural Network, which will support individuals, businesses and communities across rural Britain.”