Julian leads MP scrutiny of rural 4G mobile providers
June 27, 2018
Julian Sturdy yesterday chaired a cross-party evidence session, questioning representatives of the 4 major mobile providers (O2, Vodafone, EE and Three) about how to secure better 4G coverage for rural neighbourhoods.
This examination of the mobile sector follows a joint letter to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport calling for new measures to ensure the government delivers on its plan to deliver mobile coverage to 95% of the UK’s landmass by 2022 organised by Julian last month, acting as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Rural Business.
The Digital Secretary has responded by offering a meeting to discuss how the government can act to advance progress on rural 4G, and Julian is planning to lead a group of cross-party MPs to lobby the Secretary of State directly on this.
After the evidence session, Julian said: “It was important to be able to question the mobile providers directly. I alongside parliamentary colleagues from across the parties were clear that MPs want to see rapid movement on improving rural 4G, to ensure our rural constituents have the basic mobile service they have a right to expect.
Far too many people are still struggling to get a decent mobile signal, and not having access to 4G is making everyday operations harder for many businesses in rural areas.
We will be collating the oral evidence submissions from the mobile providers and publishing them as a report, with the aim of submitting this to the Secretary of State Matt Hancock, and influencing government decision-making on this.
Poor 4G mobile coverage is restraining our local economy in the York area, with a clear variation between the centre of town and some rural surrounds. Our community needs a more uniform service, and I will continue to work on this to ensure we secure improvements.”