To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to improve mobile telephone coverage in Pendle.
22 March 2017
Improving mobile connectivity across the whole of the UK is a priority for the Government. The Ofcom licence obligations arising from the December 2014 agreement mean that the four Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have a legally binding obligation for each of them to provide voice/SMS text coverage to at least 90% of the UK’s landmass by end-2017. Additionally Telefonica (O2) has a licence obligation to deliver indoor 4G coverage to 98% of UK premises. The Digital Economy Bill, currently going through Parliament, will give the regulator Ofcom the power to issue large fines to mobile phone companies who fail to meet their licence obligations.
The Government's agreement with the MNOs locked in investment of £5 billion and is delivering improved coverage across the UK. Data from Ofcom's 2016 Connected Nations Report shows that over 97% of premises in Lancashire now have indoor voice coverage from at least one MNO, while 96% have indoor 4G data coverage from at least one MNO (73% from all four). Our recent mobile planning reforms for England (November 2016) and proposed reforms of the Electronic Communications Code, will support further investment and improvements in connectivity across the UK and reduce not spots.