Calls for Crieff 3G boost
Sep 27 2013
by Andrew Welsh, Strathearn Herald
The Ryder Cup could spark a digital revolution in Strathearn, it was claimed this week.
Leaders of the Better Broadband for Perthshire campaign are calling on Vodafone and 02 to boost high-speed digital connectivity in advance of next year’s golf tournament at Gleneagles.
Estimates have put the tournament’s economic benefit at £100m.
However, Perthshire Chamber of Commerce warns a lack of high-speed digital networks could damage the area’s reputation when the world’s media descend in 2014.
Vodafone and O2’s Spanish owner Telefonica share mobile assets in the UK and across Europe.
The pair have a 2G antenna at Crieff Hydro Hotel, serving the surrounding area, but the network developed in the early 1990s has been overtaken by more powerful 3G technology.
Telefonica applied to Perth and Kinross Council in August 2012 for permission to replace its existing 2G antenna at Crieff Hydro with Telefonica and Vodafone 2G/3G antennas.
Formal approval was given last October but Telefonica dropped the plan earlier this year.
Perthshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Vicki Unite says it is important to have a mast with 3G technology before the Ryder Cup starts.
She said: “This is a huge business opportunity and we want to showcase Scotland in general and Perthshire specifically as a forward-looking country, not one stuck in the digital slow lane.”