All things mobile

Keeping everyone connected

Saturday, 03 December 2022

Ae Village is a great example of how the Scottish Government programmes have improved digital connectivity in rural Scotland, both broadband and mobile, transforming the way entire communities work, communicate and consume entertainment.

In late 2016, the DSSB programme connected the majority of premises in Ae and surrounding areas to superfast fibre broadband. In June 2021, an S4GI mast was activated in the village, bringing 4G services to the village for the first time.

We caught up with Alan Newbigging, Ae resident and managing director of Dumfries-based Molplant Construction, who along with his local community is delighted that an S4GI mast has been constructed next to the village. He said:

  • “Whilst the village is only around 50 houses, along with several farms and the Forestry Commission, the benefits to the area are enormous. Ae Forest is a magnet for walkers, cyclists and downhill racers, with 5,000 – 10,000 visitors a year to the area.”
  • “Whereas before there was limited or no mobile phone coverage, there is now good network coverage, enabling visitors and the local community to keep connected when they need it most.”

Regarding his fibre broadband, delivered by DSSB, Alan recognises the superfast speeds that his family enjoys have made a major difference to his life on a number of aspects.

  • “Our broadband is very good now; my wife works from home and has found a vast improvement. I also work from home on occasions and can see no difference than working in our office in the town, I can access all my files remotely easily and quickly with no lag.
  • “On an evening, the watching of stream services such as Netflix and other online providers has greatly improved with uninterrupted viewing for the full time of being connected.
  • “The DSSB fibre service has been a great boom to our local community and has helped tremendously with a rural existence but being able to communicate with the world at large with same broadband as those in the inner cities.”


About the S4GI programme

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.