The sites are part of the Scottish Government’s £28.75 million Scottish 4G Infill programme (S4GI) which is delivering 4G infrastructure and services in so-called ‘not-spots’ in rural Scotland, providing 4G connections to areas which previously had no coverage.
Delivered by the S4GI programme, the new sites will provide vital connectivity in the areas surrounding Auchenhessnane and Cairngarroch. Scottish Emergency Services and Mountain Rescue will be able to access a reliable 4G mobile service for the first time, as well as residents, visitors and businesses.
By the summer of 2023, the Scottish Government’s S4GI programme is anticipated to deliver up to 55 masts, including those being used by EE as part of the Emergency Services Network roll-out.
Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, said: “The roll out of the Auchenhessnane and Cairngarroch masts in Dumfries & Galloway is really good news for local residents and businesses impacted by Covid-19.”
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Local resident, Deborah Maxwell, who owns alpaca trekking business Nith Valley Alpaca Farm near Thornhill, has said that the increased coverage will make a huge difference to daily lives in the areas surrounding Auchenhessnane and Cairngarroch.
She said: “With the move towards staycations as a result of COVID-19, we’ve seen a large increase in visitors to the area, which has been great for our business. But it's often hard to get mobile signal on and around the farm, and so some visitors struggle to find us.
"Now, thanks to the new mast, tourists can easily find where we’re located and browse our website and social media to get to know us. It’s also given customers easier access to the internet while at the farm, and we’ve seen an increase in them posting images of our beautiful location and alpacas online, as well as positive reviews, which is really valuable for us.
“With a reliable mobile connection, more visitors can find out about us and we’re looking forward to attracting and welcoming more people next year."