Broadband News

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.


There are plenty of well populated rural areas in Essex with no gas, frequent electricity supply interruptions and lousy Internet connections (Less than 2 Mbps). They also contain a lot of people working from home, often running their own businesses. A little money spent here would have a much bigger effect on the economy than raising high speeds elsewhere to even higher ones!

  • Ger0n1m0
  • over 8 years ago

Moblie coverage is South Wiltshire is poor. No network coverage where I live in a river valley. If you travel a mile to the open plain, where nobody lives, coverage is OK. Difficult for children who cannot text their friends. Broadband speeds also poor and in some cases non existent.

  • jabrady10
  • over 8 years ago

There are also large areas in Moray where broadband of any sort is less than 2Mbps. To be frank, in these areas what is more important is not the speed - though it would be nice - but the reliability. Frequent drop-outs make it harder for small firms to do business, as Ger0n1m0 pointed out.

  • MikeCR
  • over 8 years ago

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