Sunday, 30 October 2016 23:20

Rural 'notspots' unacceptable – MPs

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural 'notspots' unacceptable – MPs

More than one in four rural areas suffer from a poor or non-existent mobile phone signal, says a cross-party group of MPs.

Coverage is so bad that visitors from overseas sometimes get better roaming reception than domestic customers using UK-based networks.

The warning comes in the latest report from the British Infrastructure Group (BIG) – a cross-party group of some 90 MPs.

"With one third of mobile phone users, or 17m people, across the UK reporting poor or no reception at home, there remains a considerable number of 'not spots' in Britain," it says.

    See also: Call to improve rural mobile coverage

"These are areas which have coverage from at least one but not all four mobile operators."

The report warns: "'Not spots' simply should not be so widespread."

The full document can be downloaded here.

The latest estimates suggest that 28% of all rural areas in the UK remain without coverage, says the group, which is led by Conservative MP Grant Shapps.

BIG is calling on the government to request an interim update in December 2016 from the mobile operators on the latest rural coverage statistics.

It says the group should make better progress towards meeting a government target to provide 90% geographic voice coverage across the UK by next year.

Mobile phone companies say they are working hard to provide better coverage.

A Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesman said the government knew how frustrating poor mobile coverage can be.

This was why ministers had made it a legal requirement for each mobile network operator to provide coverage to at least 90% of the UK by the end of next year.

"We are taking further action through the Digital Economy Bill currently going through Parliament."said the DCMS spokesman.

This action would give the regulator Ofcom the power to issue hefty fines to mobile phone companies who failed to deliver improvements.

The full BIG report can be downloaded here.

People in this conversation

  • Guest (Billy Miskelly)


    It is not just rural ares that suffer. My son lives at Morton in Carlisle Cumbria and he cant get a signal most of the time. He is on Vodaphone.

  • Guest (L.Jones)


    At PL14 6PP there is no mobile coverage by any network so when the landline goes down (it does about three times a year) we really are stranded. It is the same at PL1X 6HX.
    Broadband is 1.1mb unless there is a high wind/rain and then it drops below 1mb.
    BTs answer is to club together (all five houses) and pay for fibre optic to our homes from the nearest green cabinet, about 1Km away. Cost = c.£50,000. Ha Ha!
    One of the poorest area in the EU, we need to be digitally linked-in for new business

    from St Neot, Liskeard PL14 6PP, UK

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