A new programme designed to inject lifeblood into rural community hubs by providing reliable, indoor 3G mobile coverage and internet access has been welcomed by local MP Richard Arkless and MSP Emma Harper.


The Community Indoor Sure Signal (CISS) programme has been launched by Vodafone and is designed to provide reliable indoor 3G voice and data coverage.  It has been successfully piloted at a rural pub near Worcester and Vodafone are now calling for applications from rural community centres such as independent or community-run pubs and shops, village halls, scout huts, doctors’ surgeries or visitor centres, that do not currently have reliable mobile coverage.


The CISS unit will bring both 3G voice and data ensuring that both employees and visitors to the community hubs will be able to make both calls and use data on their Vodafone mobile phones or tablets.  The application process is open until 1 September 2016 with the first selected communities being announced in the autumn.


Commenting Richard Arkless said:


“This scheme will provide hot spots of connectivity to the heart of rural communities.  I hope that there are many applications from community hubs throughout Dumfries and Galloway – I know of several that could make excellent use of a CISS unit.


“If people remain connected to the wider world while visiting ours fantastic local pubs, shops or visitor centres they will be far better equipped to tell other people about how much Dumfries and Galloway has to offer which will help uplift visitor numbers.”


South of Scotland MSP Emma Harper added:


“Boosting connectivity in rural areas has a very positive domino effect on small communities.  I welcome this scheme but would remind people that there are only 100 CISS units available – if you want one, you will have to apply and I suspect demand will be high.”


The CISS units are boxes, about the size of a cereal box, which connect to an existing broadband router to provide mobile coverage throughout a building, hall or shop.


Jorge Fernandes, Vodafone UK Chief Technology Officer, said:


“Reliable mobile coverage and mobile internet are vital to the economic and social well-being of rural communities. By installing our units, we can ensure that rural hotspots continue to play an important role in rural community life.”


To download and application pack visit http://blog.vodafone.co.uk/2016/07/07/ciss100-reliable-indoor-signal-pub/

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