Virgin Media O2 has used a helicopter to deliver new 4G masts to the remote island of Islay, UK.

In total, six new 4G masts are being built on the Scottish island of Islay, which has a population of just over 3,000 people.

Virgin Media O2 4G
– Getty Images

Islay is part of Argyll and Bute council, which is set to receive 4G networks at more than 60 sites across the entire council as part of the Shared Rural Network (SRN) program.

At present, only 60 percent of Argyll and Bute have access to 4G coverage across the four network operators – Virgin Media O2, Vodafone, EE, and Three.

This is set to increase by 25 percent after all SRN upgrades have been delivered.

“The industry’s Shared Rural Network initiative is making a real, tangible difference to people’s lives," said Paul Kells, director of network, strategy, and engineering at Virgin Media O2. "At Virgin Media O2, we are committed to playing our part in bringing reliable 4G coverage to rural locations all over Britain to help bridge the digital divide between rural and urban communities.

“Many rural parts of Scotland are already benefiting from our rollout of new and upgraded masts, and nowhere will benefit more from our investment than the Argyll and Bute area, where we are working to upgrade more than 60 sites as part of our commitment to the Shared Rural Network program.”

The SRN is aimed at connecting some of the most remote areas of the UK and is part of a £1 billion ($1.21bn) program supported by the mobile industry and government to increase all operators’ 4G coverage to 90 percent of UK landmass and their aggregate coverage to 95 percent by 2026.

It's backed by £500 million ($607m) of public funding, plus a further £500 million provided by the mobile players.