Communities struggle to be heard

Following last week’s article in the Piper (October 5) about the lack of mobile phone reception in Finzean, residents in Echt have told the Piper of their own battles to make a call.

Tracy Watt, a shop assistant at the village’s post office said: “The phone signal in Echt is basically non-existent, I can only get reception if I stand in one corner of the shop and even then it sometimes disappears.

I would say it is certainly a big issue for the village.”

Another resident, Iain McDonagh, also told us that his mobile reception was: “basically non-existent” in the village.

He said: “I lived in Aberdeen for a few years before upgrading with 3 mobile.

Reception in Echt is basically non-existent and generally rubbish outside the city.

I ride a motorcycle to work in Aberdeen and carry an emergency £10 top-up phone in case I am in an accident because I find them generally more reliable.”

“I feel I am paying for a service I’m not getting and plan to cancel my contract.”

Moira Gash, the head of the Deeside branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, warned of a “two-tier” system between urban and rural areas.

She said: “I think it’s a very big issue, I know of people moving back to using landlines because of the lack of reception. We need to find the root of the problem and then find a solution before it becomes a two-tier society in terms of phone reception. Urban communities can usually rely on a mobile signal where rural ones can’t.”

Moira, who herself runs a Torphins-based gardening and landscaping business, added: “I suspect I’ve lost business myself because of the reception issue.”

The Piper contacted 3 mobile for a comment but they failed to respond to our request.

Do you struggle to get a signal in your town or village?

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