December 12 2013 Latest news:
Kath Sansom, .
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Mobile phone signal gaps across the UK need closing to ensure the whole country has reliable communication, MP Steve Barclay has urged.
People in the Fens and East Cambridgeshire are being encouraged to speak up in support of a new campaign which aims to put a stop to the ‘signal gap’ between urban and rural parts of the UK.
Mr Barclay is joining the Countryside Alliance in asking mobile users to become mobile phone ‘signal detectives’ by getting involved in a new campaign which highlights the issues faced by residents in rural areas who suffer from poor signal.
The campaign hopes to generate a review into connectivity issues across the UK.
The Countryside Alliance is offering mobile users a free app to test phone signal strength and internet download speed in their area. The results will then be used to create an interactive virtual map identifying key connectivity ‘not-spots’ across the country.
Mr Barclay said: “We need to send a clear message to mobile phone companies that poor quality signal is an issue that has a major impact on people and businesses in rural constituencies like my own.”
“It is unfair for mobile companies to be promoting the expansion of next generation 4G service whilst there are many around the country who struggle to receive a basic signal”.
“This is not only a social issue but also an economic one. The current ‘not-spot’ situation costs the British economy £1.3 Billion every year. I encourage mobile phone users in Fenland to make use of the free signal strength app on offer as it is a key tool to identifying and eliminating connectivity problems”.
It is estimated that signal black spots currently affect 12.8% of the population, most of them located in rural areas. The figure is likely to be even higher for the Fens, Mr Barclay said.