Local MP welcomes wider mobile voice and broadband coverage for Harrogate

30 July 2012

The Member of Parliament for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Andrew Jones has welcomed the news that mobile voice and broadband coverage is set to reach nearly all of the remote rural areas of the Harrogate district.

The long parliamentary campaign to bring mobile coverage to these areas celebrated a milestone, as regulator OFCOM finally announced auction plans that will see mobile coverage increased to an estimated 98 percent of the UK population and will vastly improve infrastructure in remote rural areas of the UK.

Traditionally, up to 6 million people in Britain have been excluded from good mobile coverage, particularly in rural areas. Andrew attended and spoke in the three-hour debate on the issue in the House of Commons in May 2011 where the motion calling for better provision was carried unanimously.

The long-awaited auction will start later this year, but bidding will not begin until early 2013, which Ofcom say is in line with its previous timetable. The regulator says it expects consumers to “start getting services in late 2013”.

It says its plans should see mobile broadband rolled out to at least 98 percent of people in rural areas across the UK and the auction will offer the equivalent of three-quarters of the mobile spectrum currently in use.

Harrogate district has 75 percent of people connected to the internet which is over 2 percent above the national average and Andrew knows that this and the network coverage figures need to be higher to get rid of so-called ‘not spots’ – areas without coverage.

Andrew Jones MP said:

This is an investment that will significantly help thousands of small and medium sized businesses, currently hamstrung by inadequate mobile phone and internet coverage.

Hundreds of homes, schools, farms and businesses will get access to decent mobile and internet coverage for the first time.

It goes hand in hand with the recent announcement of improved rural broadband and will improve the lives of people living in areas that previously lacked coverage.

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