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56 MPs want better mobile coverage in rural UK

Staff Writer |
More than 50 MPs have sent a joint letter to Digital Secretary Matthew Hancock asking him to challenge the current speed and ambition of 4G coverage roll out in rural areas.

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Expressing concern about progress to date, the MPs are calling for a legally binding coverage obligation imposed on all four major operators to support the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport’s stated ambition to deliver mobile coverage to 95% of UK geographic landmass by the end of 2022.

The Government estimated that achieving this ambition would add £75 billion to UK GDP.

The letter has been signed by 56 MPs from parties including the Conservative Party, Labour, Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru.

It has been co-ordinated by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Rural Business, which is chaired by Julian Sturdy MP (York Outer).

The MPs’ collective action follows a report by the CLA (Country Land and Business Association) last month which revealed that in 2015, 2016 and 2017 mobile network operators have been failing to submit applications for new masts to improve mobile coverage in some of the rural areas with the worst 4G coverage.