In many cases, a reliable internet connection in a motorhome or campervan is now critical to be able to continue to work and maintain contact with loved ones, as well as enjoy TV streaming and video calls.
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£4.5m to help thousands in central Scotland get gigabit speed broadband
Central Scotland will be the first area to benefit from the UK government’s record £5 billion investment in next-generation broadband.
Published on 27 February 2021 from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
More than 5,300 homes and businesses in Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Stirlingshire, Greater Glasgow and Lothian will get access to gigabit speeds thanks to the first £4.5 million to be awarded from the UK government’s nationwide gigabit programme.
These premises currently have slow speeds and were already due to benefit from superfast broadband through the Scottish Government’s Reaching 100 (R100) programme, which is scheduled to invest £83 million in central Scotland.
But now, thanks to an agreement between the UK and Scottish governments the properties will get gigabit-capable full fibre broadband built directly to their doorsteps.
While superfast provides minimum speeds of 30 megabits per second, gigabit broadband delivers lightning-fast speeds capable of reaching 1,000 megabits per second.
The move will future-proof people’s internet connections in these areas for the next thirty to forty years and allow them to take full advantage of cutting-edge technologies such as 8K TV and virtual reality streaming.
Matt Warman, UK Minister for Digital Infrastructure said:
The first pound to be spent from our £5 billion pot for gigabit broadband will be in Scotland.
That’s because it is our mission to deliver lightning-fast next-generation internet connections to all parts of the UK as we build back better from the pandemic.
And this is just the start. Other areas of Scotland and the rest of the UK will benefit from our record investment in this national broadband upgrade and we’ll announce more regions shortly.
Scotland’s Connectivity Minister Paul Wheelhouse said:
The past year has demonstrated beyond doubt just how vital digital connectivity is across all areas of our lives – from health, wellbeing and education to social and economic recovery.
The Shared Rural Network is one of the first UK infrastructure programmes to confirm funding post-Brexit through a new process that is faster and less bureaucratic. The world-leading £1 billion government deal with the UK’s four Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) EE, O2, Three and Vodafone will see both public and private investment in a network of new and existing phone masts closing not-spots and levelling up connectivity across every corner of the UK.
Total not-spots are the hard-to-reach areas of the UK where there is currently no coverage from any mobile operator.
Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman said:
Mobile firms are making great progress boosting 4G services in countryside communities as part of their side of this landmark agreement.
With the publication of this notice, we shall now push on with making patchy or poor coverage a thing of the past as we build back better from the pandemic.
Closing total not spots will give rural consumers a better choice of providers, with more now offering coverage across new areas for the first time. People will also benefit from improved access to mobile banking, government and emergency services as well as shopping and other online benefits thanks to improved connectivity.
The funding will enable new masts to be built, getting rid of total not spots, and to upgrade radio equipment built as part of the Home Office’s Emergency Services Network (ESN) Programme which will enable MNOs to provide even more coverage.
The MNOs have already begun work as part of the deal to close the majority of ‘partial not-spots’ – areas where there is coverage from at least one but not all operators – by mid-2024. There have already been over 700 sites announced so far this year to help close not-spots across the UK.
With £500 million in funding now available, the government and the MNOs remain confident that combined coverage will be delivered to 95% of the UK by the end of 2025, with areas around the UK starting to see improvements to 4G coverage long before completion.
Smarty offers three data plans which run for 30 days from date of activation. You can choose if these plans automatically renew on their anniversary date, like a contract, or if the SIM pauses requiring you to purchase another data plan at a later stage, like Pay As You Go.
If you choose automatic renewal, you can amend the plan that renews at any point until the day of renewal. If you choose not to renew automatically, then the SIM will remain dormant for up to 6 months.
The Smarty SIM card requires activation and will display ‘No Service’ until it has been registered, so you will need to have access to an alternative internet connection. In order to activate, you will be asked to purchase a data plan which will start on the day of activation and run for 30 days.
Visit www.smarty.co.uk/activate and enter your 19 digit SIM number found on the packaging or on the SIM itself if the packaging has been discarded. Select the plan you want to buy; we recommend choosing the Unlimited data plan for the first time in order to get a feel for how much data you might need. Provide your address and payment details, that’s it! Your SIM card will be activated as soon as possible.
Smarty (run by Three) does not necessarily represent the best coverage but does represent good value for the UK. Typically, EE offers the best UK coverage in rural and remote location, followed by Vodafone.
Smarty has now launched a number of European add-ons and roaming passes that negate the 12GB fair usage policy.
You can now use your full data allowance with no restrictions by purchasing an ‘EU Data Pass’ for either 1 day or 3 days at a time. You will only be shown this pass if you have an activated data plan on your account of 30GB or more.
If you are on a lower data plan such as 12GB for example, you can purchase a ‘Data Add-On’ if more data is required when roaming.
The data add-ons never expire and there are 6 to choose from, all of which can be used abroad, over and above the 12GB fair usage limit.
Full details can be found here –
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