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Mobile Phones: Rural Areas

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 202893, tabled on 17 December 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what his Department's policy is on improving mobile data coverage in rural areas with low levels of fixed superfast broadband coverage.

Answered on

21 December 2018

The Government’s ambition is for there to be good mobile coverage in all areas where people live, work and travel, including areas where there are low levels of superfast fixed broadband coverage.

The Government recognises that industry needs to improve coverage further, particularly in rural areas, as consumers’ experience of mobile coverage falls short of their expectations.The Government has been taking action to drive up coverage, including reforms to the Electronic Communications Code, to encourage investment in the rollout of digital infrastructure by making deployment cheaper.

We also welcome Ofcom’s recent consultation (published on 18th December) which outlined potential new licence obligations targeting rural coverage as part of the upcoming 700MHz spectrum auction. This will help deliver better mobile coverage - including voice and data - and enable more people to benefit from the digital economy.