The government is proposing law changes that will allow mobile phone masts to be increased in size to boost coverage in rural areas.
Under the proposals, mobile companies will be allowed to make new and existing masts up to five metres taller and two metres wider than current rules permit.
This is set to increase the range of masts and allow operators to fit more equipment on them so they can be more easily shared.
“We welcome this announcement as a positive step towards improving mobile coverage in rural areas. “We know that better digital connectivity is a key enabler for broader economic success. The rural economy is 18% less productive than the national average, with the countryside missing out on billions of pounds and hundreds of thousands of jobs as a result. Better mobile coverage will help to close the productivity gap, helping to create a more prosperous rural economy.”
The move is set to propel the delivery of the £1bn Shared Rural Network, which is being built to eliminate 4G mobile ‘not spots’ in the countryside and to speed-up the rollout of next-generation 5G networks.
Stricter rules will apply in protected areas including national parks, the Norfolk Broads, conservation areas, areas of outstanding natural beauty and world heritage sites.
The plans also include proposals to bring better mobile coverage for road users by allowing building-based masts to be placed nearer to highways.
Read the announcement in full here