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Improving mobile phone coverage in rural areas

[Friday 12 November 2010]

The Commission for Rural Communities have launched ‘Rural mobile phone coverage – issues and recommendations’, a report highlighting the impacts of poor mobile coverage on rural communities.

Many rural areas do not enjoy the same levels of mobile or broadband coverage and speeds as their urban counterparts and there are concerns this is putting the rural economy at a competitive disadvantage. Last week Ofcom published research on the causes of ‘not-spots’, which describes areas where there is insufficient mobile signal to make a call or send a text message. The Commission for Rural Communities report examines the impacts of ‘not-spots’ on rural communities, identifies obstacles to improved coverage and recommends further action.

Graham Russell, Executive Director, Commission for Rural Communities said: “Mobile phone technology – like broadband – is embedded into every aspect of life and has become almost an essential utility for people and for businesses. Yet there are rural places which still cannot receive a good mobile phone signal, with significant implications. Small businesses are the backbone of the rural economy but they need decent connectivity in order to be accessible to customers and to keep in touch with their offices. Employers are cutting costs and increasingly want their employees to work flexibly including from home, but this can be difficult for people with poor mobile reception.”

A copy of the report can be found at here

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