26 JAN 2016

Rural mobile phone signals - MP keeps up the pressure for better service

Show me your 'Not Spots' says Helen Grant

Helen Grant is once again calling upon her constituents to identify mobile phone 'not spots' in Maidstone & the Weald. Mrs Grant is following up on a public meeting she convened a year ago where the four service providers (Vodafone, EE, 02 and 3) and the Minister responsible for communications (Ed Vaizey MP) were brought together with local people in Cranbrook to explore what more could be done about poor rural mobile phone coverage, fluctuating signal strengths and losing connections mid-call.

At that meeting Vodafone indicated that significant improvements in rural communications would be made in the coming 18 months as well as implementing new technologies to cover more remote communities. But at a private meeting in Westminster in January this year Vodaphone conceded to Helen Grant that there is still much more to do in Benenden, the west side of Cranbrook and in Frittenden.

Helen said "Mobile Phones are a vital public service utility in the 21st century and service providers must be held to account if they are not making the progress we require in rural areas. I will be contacting everyone who responded to my rural mobile phone survey last year to monitor improvements and keep up the pressure. I also welcome anyone in the constituency to send me details of poor reception. Please write to me with your name, postcode and service provider via helen.grant.mp@parliament.uk

Paul Morris, Head of Government Affairs at Vodaphone said: "Vodafone is in the middle of its largest ever investment programme, investing a billion pounds this year ago to improve coverage across the UK. In Maidstone and The Weald, Vodafone has already delivered coverage improvements to the vast majority of our customers. However, there is still more to do and we are currently looking at how we can make further improvements to coverage in the Weald specifically. Our aim is to give as many customers as possible access to good quality mobile voice and internet coverage at home and on the move"

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