County’s action on mobile coverage highlighted in industry report

The forward-thinking actions of North Yorkshire County Council to improve mobile phone connectivity across the county are highlighted in a report by the mobile industry body that calls on all councils to play their part.

officers at launch of report

The report by Mobile UK, launched yesterday (5 September) in Parliament, outlines the crucial role for local councils in rolling out mobile connectivity and the opportunities for partnership with the industry and practical measures to help the UK realise its ambition to be a leading digital economy with world-class mobile connectivity. It singles out the work being done in North Yorkshire.

The County Council has already established links with mobile operators, working with them to understand their plans for further infrastructure and how it can support these plans, and is working with district councils to review and assist in planning applications for infrastructure.

The County Council has also secured £1m from the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership to improve mobile phone coverage in the county. It has completed a survey to gauge the level of coverage across the county and is starting to look at areas with no coverage where investment might be appropriate.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “We fully understand how important effective mobile coverage is – alongside superfast broadband access – to ensuring our towns and villages remain vibrant places where businesses can grow and young people and families can make their homes.

“That’s why we have been at the forefront nationally of action to improve coverage by forming partnerships, assessing the needs of the county and pursuing funding and investment opportunities. We welcome Mobile UK’s report urging all local councils to take a similarly pro-active approach.”

Mobile UK says that by 2025 it is expected the average customer, who today uses 1.9GB of data per month, will be consuming 90GB. Enhancing 4G (and soon building 5G) is crucial to meeting this surge in demand and getting the foundations right now is critical. The organisation says local government has a key role in addressing the issues of mobile deployment.

Gareth Elliott, Head of Policy and Communications, Mobile UK, said: “Building Mobile Britain relies on strong partnerships and local government has a vital role to play in delivering this goal. Our report, Councils and Connectivity, outlines how pro-active local government leadership, planning and the sharing of ideas can enable and unlock opportunities to achieving a world-class connected economy.”

Mobile UK’s report can be found on their website.

This story was published 6 September 2018