Progress to Date
The Scottish Government and Scottish Futures Trust recognise there will be gaps in 4G mobile coverage and the need to fill these coverage gaps. As part of the Programme for Government 2016/17  , the Scottish Government stated its intention to develop a 4G infill programme to work with industry and eliminate these coverage gaps.
The 4G infill programme is looking to provide additional mast (and associated) infrastructure and services to underserved locations. We recognise that provision of infrastructure through the programme is a requirement to enable mobile operators to deliver a commercial service in the target areas.
The programme will look to ensure that any infrastructure is open access, future-proofed, be connected to backhaul capable of delivering 4G LTE services and be upgradable to 5G. It will also look to ensure that at least one mobile service provider commits to the provision of 4G LTE services at each location.
We are keen to hear from those who may be able to support the provision of this network infrastructure in the target areas. This could be through ownership of specific telecommunications infrastructure or have plans to build such infrastructure.
Funding has been committed by the Scottish Government to enable the initial tranche of activity. Funding from the European Regional Development Fund (' ERDF') has also been secured to support activity in the Highlands and Islands region. The details and basis of these funding sources and any restrictions on their usage will be explained in the forthcoming tender documentation.