Rural communities across the UK – including those in the Outer Hebrides – are being encouraged to apply to have indoor 3G mobile coverage and internet access from Vodafone installed at their local community centre.
Whether it is for an independent or community run pub and shop, village hall, scout hut, doctor’s surgeries or visitor centre, mobile coverage is provided through Vodafone’s Community Indoor Sure Signal (CISS) programme and is open to up to 100 rural community hubs. Any community hub that does not have reliable mobile coverage but does have a suitable fixed broadband connection can apply.
Am Pàipear has spoken with Vodafone and confirmed that community centres in the Western Isles are eligible for this scheme. However, this is dependent on there being a fast enough broadband connection at the centre in question (full requirements below). Community groups can contact Vodafone – which says it is keen to receive enquires from this area – to discuss eligibility.
The programme uses a Sure Signal+ ‘femtocell’ unit, which is no bigger than a broadband router, and is typically used by large businesses to ensure visitors and employees receive good quality indoor mobile coverage throughout an office building or campus. The CISS unit simply plugs into a standard fixed broadband router in order to provide mobile coverage to users with a Vodafone device.
How to apply:
Successful applicants will need an unlimited broadband package, download speeds of at least 4Mbps and upload speeds of 2Mbps and a domestic plug-in power point.
Further information and application details are available at www.vodafone.uk/CISS
The application process is open until 1st September 2016 with the first selected communities being announced in the autumn.