Aberdeenshire rural campaigner and local councillor, Paul Johnston, won the support of the Scottish Rural Parliament 2016 held last week in Brechin, to campaign for improved connection to 4G mobile phone networks in rural Scotland.
” Fast, high volume mobile phones can offer as much potential as the current high-speed broadband in improving life in rural areas” said Paul. “But in areas where broadband speeds are always too slow it offers a viable alternative if home cheaper packages were available” Paul welcomed the acceptance from the Scottish Rural Parliament. “They recognised that mobile technology fills the space between fixed points that can get fibre. I am delighted that they agreed unanimously. Brilliant”
“Both people who live in rural Scotland as well as the many visitors, will benefit more from fast and high capacity mobile networks. It can support mobile computing in agriculture and land or environmental management. Its a powerful tool for rural people.”
As an Aberdeenshire Councillor, Paul Johnston has been pressing for better coverage around the rural area, working with groups such as Barthol Chapel residents, to try and get transmitters for 4G mobile phones to cover remoter areas not likely covered by superfast broadband. Paul has lobbied providers for an affordable tariff for local people to use 4G mobile at reasonable cost for home broadband use where no alternative superfast connections can be made.
The Scottish Rural Parliament met in 2014 and now again in 2016, to as an outcome, decide a manifesto from hundreds of rural community groups. This agreed manifesto s then used by groups to press the Scottish and UK governments and Scottish Councils to improve rural life and opportunities.
The 2016 Scottish rural parliament has proposed a wide variety of actions for Councils and Parliaments to help rural areas, including democratic support for Community Councils and rural transport and housing. Paul Johnston actively participated in the rural broadband, rural housing workshops.
Paul Added, “The Scottish Rural Parliament s begining to develop to be an effective platform for rural issues accross Scotland, covering all aspects of rural life such as access to schools, healthcare, broadband but also about making communities self reliant. Their work s valuable as part of Scotland’s civic fabric”