Boost for 4G coverage

Rural areas set to benefit as first stage of Shared Rural Network goes ahead

The CLA has responded to news that the first stage of the £1bn Shared Rural Network will be delivered. 

CLA President Mark Bridgeman said:

“News that mobile operators will deliver the first stage of the Shared Rural Network will enhance the lives of millions of people living in the countryside and will provide a much-needed boost to rural productivity, which is 16% below the national average.

“Only 66% of rural areas currently have good access to 4G coverage, with only a 1% improvement recorded last year. This agreement will hopefully speed up the process of increased coverage being rolled-out - and the improvement will help unlock investment in the rural economy.

“Better coverage could also see more businesses start-up or re-locate to the countryside, creating new jobs as the country emerges from the Covid-19 crisis. But that will only happen if the proposed timescales are fulfilled.”

  • The news comes as the government launches a consultation on whether reforms to the Electronic Communications Code are needed to ensure that the deployment, upgrading and sharing of digital infrastructure, such as phone masts, can happen as quickly and efficiently as possible.