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Ariane Burgess MSP Raises Concerns Over Emergency Services Communication in Rural Scotland

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Ariane Burgess, Scottish Green MSP for the Highlands & Islands, has asked the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Angela Constance, about the potential impact of BT’s Digital Voice roll-out on the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP) in rural and island areas of Scotland.

The MSP has asked the Scottish Government to disclose any discussions it has had with the UK Government and BT concerning areas without adequate mobile phone provision.

This comes after constituents on Skye voiced their concerns about emergency services communication during power cuts once Digital Voice is rolled out.

Ms Burgess said:

“The roll-out of BT’s Digital Voice in rural and island areas of Scotland, particularly those without adequate mobile phone provision, raises serious concerns about the potential impact on the ESMCP.

“It is crucial that our emergency services can communicate effectively with each other and residents, especially during power cuts.”

She added:

“Constituents on Skye have been in touch to express their worries about this issue.

“They need reassurance that the ESMCP will ensure seamless communication where there is no longer any analogue landline and patchy mobile coverage.

“Our rural and island communities deserve the same level of service as those in urban areas.

“We must ensure that the roll-out of new technologies does not leave them behind.”

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