Eight of ten people across the countryside do not have access to 4G mobile coverage, according to a report by the telecoms regulator Ofcom published today (15 December).
Figures in the Connected Nations report reveal just how slow progress has been in delivering 4G mobile in rural areas. Only 18% of people can access 4G coverage in their rural homes and businesses compared to 64% in urban areas.
The CLA which campaigns for better broadband for landowners, farmers and rural businesses condemned the figures.
CLA Deputy President Mark Bridgeman said: “It is ridiculous that eight out of ten people in rural areas still do not have access to more than one of the major mobile operators. The existing target for mobile coverage is pathetically unambitious, and as of January there will be no target at all. These figures are an indictment of the weak position the Government and Ofcom have taken with the industry. Time and again they have rolled over to industry demands and rural communities are still being cut off from the digital economy.
“It’s time to look again at how the industry is being held to account for its performance on rural coverage. If we are to take seriously the promises made to rural people, it is imperative that new, stretching and legally binding targets are in place that match our ambition for the modern economy. We shall be seeking answers from the Government and the regulator and asking MPs to look at the issue in detail.”
Click here to read Ofcom’s Connected Nations report.