Rural mobile coverage improvements announced
One part of the budget covered the cities, for connectivity in rural areas we are looking at a budget of £150m that was announced back in 2011.
The Infrastructure Delivery Update reveals that the sum is going to be spent on extending mobile coverage to some 60,000 rural homes and improving coverage on ten key roads.
- Northern Ireland: A2 (Derry) and A29 (Coleraine)
- England: A57 (Liverpool), A143 (Great Yarmouth), A169 (Whitby), A352 (Sherborne), A360 (Devizes) and A591 (Keswick)
- Scotland: A82(T) (Inverness)
- Wales: A470(T) (Llandudno)
Further work is to be undertook to look at mobile coverage for rail passengers and whether direct government intervention is needed to improve services, which in some ways would seem to be a better option than improving coverage on the roads, where the law limits the use of mobile phones.
The scale of difference in spending is very large compared to the cities, and if an approach similar to that of Jersey was taken, where the copper phone network is removed and replaced with fibre and 3G femtocells were installed on the end of the fibre, which can subsequently provide voice, mobile coverage, broadband, smart metering and other services, then these 60,000 rural homes could actually become super-connected homes.