Ceredigion’s Welsh Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams, has welcomed today’s announcement from the Government that it will launch a consultation on how to improve mobile phone coverage across the UK, particularly given that almost half of Ceredigion is a so called ‘partial not-spot’ according to statistics.
The consultation, launched by the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, will run until the end of November, and will look at various proposals to help eliminate poor mobile coverage in the UK as part of the government’s long-term economic plan.
‘Partial not-spots’ are areas which have mobile phone coverage from one or two, but not all of the four UK mobile networks (EE, O2, Three and Vodafone). Depending on the network consumers are on, they therefore may have no coverage at all. Statistic from the Department for Culture Media and Sport indicate that 44% of Ceredigion falls into this category.
Commenting, Mark Williams, said:
‘It comes as no surprise to me that much of Ceredigion is a partial not-spot, and the worse part of Wales for receiving mobile phone reception. When driving around the county every week for meetings and surgeries I know at exactly which points my phone will cut out – which is very often!
‘The lack of mobile phone coverage can cause great concern to many in the villages in rural areas, who feel isolated and without an easy way of contacting assistance, should an emergency arise. It is also of great concern to the many small businesses in Ceredigion, and across Wales. Research by the Federation of Small Businesses found 87% of businesses rated mobile phones as important to their business. With a high proportion of small businesses, connectivity is a vital part of Ceredigion’s local economy, and mobile phone coverage is a vital part of this.
‘Whilst some networks can provide more coverage in Ceredigion than others, finding a way to develop a more coordinated approach, such as network or infrastructure sharing by mobile phone operators, would bring significant benefits to my constituents. I will respond to the consultation in the coming weeks, and hope we see a beneficial outcome.’