Scotland’s village of Kilmory improves access to mobile services for a better connected society.In the south end of the Isle of Arran, the small village of Kilmory has a population of just under 500 residents. As a popular tourist village, renowned for its natural environment and long beach, the area attracts over 2000 visitors during the summer season. The holidaymakers have become the primary source of income for Kilmory, and the local community recognised the importance of effective connectivity, for locals and visitors alike.
For Kilmory, having local attractions and activities promoted and found online, through reliable mobile services, would provide benefits for the local economy by increasing business opportunities, as well as improving social interaction with the local community.
The challengeThe residents of Kilmory were continually having difficulty in texting and calling family and friends due to limited mobile connectivity. People had to go outside to search for a mobile signal to use their phones to communicate. Additionally, most of the local community was self-employed, and mobile connectivity had a significant impact on their daily routine and businesses. The need for reliable mobile coverage was becoming increasingly vital. The facility to communicate with customers and order materials from suppliers would be something that kept businesses moving and sustainable. Local guest houses also wanted to be available and attend to their guests quicker. Therefore, when guests arrived, a simple phone call or text meant arrangements to meet and provide access to lodgings and halls were seamless.
When it comes to health and wellbeing, communication becomes critical. Within Kilmory, the lack of mobile connectivity was restricting access to emergency services. Before making an emergency call, people had first to find a phone signal or a landline. Waiting for a medical call back or a doctor’s telephone appointment was very difficult without the right mobile services in place. Also, for patients on a transplant waiting list, their mobile is the first point of contact to locate them. However, with limited or no mobile signal on their phone, this could delay the transplant, adding risk, or at the least, stress to the patient on not receiving the medical care at the right time.
"For a potential transplant patient who is on a waiting list, mobile phone and SMS coverage is essential because if an organ has become available, you can be found quickly and start travelling to receive that transplant."
Ian Adamson, Kilmory
The solutionA local initiative, including councillors and groups based in Kilmory pushed for improved mobile connectivity. It was clear that the younger generation was moving out of Kilmory. This was affecting the property sector as it was becoming more challenging to sell properties because of no mobile connectivity or reliable highspeed internet connections.
The Kilmory local initiative undertook discussions with various organisations to address these issues, and to start the process of improving mobile connectivity in the area. A major telecoms operator and Cornerstone, the UK’s leading mobile infrastructure services company, partnered with Galliford Try, a specialised construction group, for the project. The project identified the Kilmory Public Hall, a Scottish Futures Trust site, as the most suitable site to place the mobile infrastructure.
A survey by Scottish Futures Trust also confirmed this after their assessments and information from previous investigations. Galliford Try also completed a design survey and submitted a planning notification using the telecom operators permitted development rights. Galliford Try acquired and installed the Greenfield lattice tower with ground-based equipment cabinets. The acquisition process took eighteen months from start to finish, and the installation of the operator’s equipment took a month. Ian Adamson, the Chairman of the Kilmory Public Hall, stated, “It all went smoothly, and the mast construction company kept us well informed. We have been very well looked after by all concerned.”
Paul McCullagh, Delivery and Commercial Services Director at Cornerstone stated, “Cornerstone are committed to delivering excellence to all parts of the UK, working closely with all our interested parties. We are delighted to be able to support the local community in Kilmory and others like them, keeping everyone connected.”
- The local community will be able to work more efficiently by using online services.
- Local tradesmen and local farmers can carry out tasks and jobs while outside or commuting.
- Tourists have better access to local services and attractions by using online booking services as they drive through Kilmory.
- Visitors and residents can stay better connected with family and friends.