That the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, while beautiful, is remote with villages and smaller settlements scattered throughout and covering a vast area equal to the landmass of Belgium. There are vast areas where there is no signal for mobile phones; an essential service in the twenty-first century. Without this vital connectivity, businesses are less competitive, road safety alerts are compromised, and increasingly there is a detrimental effect on the education of our children and students.
The ALBA Party believe that:
If excluded communities are permitted to use existing local emergency masts, connectivity will become inclusive. This would enable broad accessibility for residents and businesses, quicker relay of emergency situations, and better use of technology for educational purposes.
Wider mast access, building additional masts and increasing connectivity via satellite to improve the experience and safety of those who live, work and travel within the Highlands and Islands.
The Scottish Government should commit to a connectivity action plan that outlines their plans to improve connectivity for our remote communities so that Scots living in these areas can be brought into the 21 st century.