Tuesday, 23 December 2014 10:13

Mobile 'not spot' plan disappoints

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Mobile 'not spot' plan disappoints

GOVERNMENT plans to extend mobile phone coverage to 90% of the country are disappointing, say rural leaders.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid announced a binding agreement with mobile network providers to reduce 'not-spots' where there is no signal by two-thirds.

The announcement on Thursday (18 December) involves mobile networks EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.

Ministers says this will support the government's £150million programme to take mobile coverage to the areas of the UK where there is no coverage at all.

But the Country Land and Business Association said it would still leave swathes of the countryside without mobile phone coverage for the foreseeable future.

CLA eastern region director Nicola Currie said: "This announcement contains big numbers and strong words, but it is deeply disappointing the government has not pushed the providers to come up with more radical solutions.

"The fact of the matter is that the Government were already making investment and increasing coverage - what we want is an ambition for 100% coverage and a clear timetable for doing so.

Despite the agreement, homes and businesses still faced the prospect of poor, or no, mobile phone coverage for years to come, said Mrs Currie.

"We are keen to know whether this agreement ends the prospect of a national roaming network that is unwanted by the mobile phone providers, but, in our view, has the potential to provide choice and much-needed access in rural communities."

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