All things mobile

Building sustainably and caring for the environment

Saturday, 03 December 2022

The Scottish Government’s Scottish 4G Infill Programme (S4GI) is a £28.75 million initiative delivering 4G infrastructure and services in up to 55 mobile “notspots” in rural and remote parts of Scotland. S4GI is being delivered in partnership with WHP Telecoms and the Scottish Futures Trust, and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support activity in the Highlands and Islands.

Using sustainable materials and caring for the environment are very important to this programme. When WHP Telecoms were building the S4GI mast at Polbain, Highland, they used on site-extracted stone instead of stone gabion baskets. Doing this not only reduced costs as imported stone was not required but it also reduced the environmental impact of transporting stone to the site over long distances.

Using local rock also helps maintain the natural pH of the area which in turn helps reduce the impact on the local ecosystem. The stone extracted from the area surrounding the site was not put to waste either. It provided structural retainment of sloping ground around the compound as well as building access tracks.       

The excavations created during the stone extraction are now used as borrow pits. For this, surface vegetation is carefully removed and placed to a site with the local stone, and this is then backfilled with spoil from the compound. The surface vegetation is then carefully replaced, which fully reinstates the land (seeding or similar simply wouldn’t be appropriate and probably wouldn’t survive).

This is a fantastic example of caring for the environment and making best use of the materials available all whilst providing digital connectivity to another remote area in Scotland. 

Find out more about the programme here: Scottish 4G infill programme: progress update - (