December 6 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
The region’s MPs are joining forces with the Eastern Daily Press to back its Let’s Get Connected campaign, which aims to ensure mobile phone users are better connected.
Yesterday, South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon became the latest to offer his support, describing how the mobile phone reception was outstanding in Tanzania when he visited the country with Voluntary Services Overseas and that if one of the poorest countries in the world could achieve good communication, so could Norfolk.
He was joined in his concern by Steve Barclay, MP for North East Cambs, Norwich North MP Chloe Smith, Broadland MP Keith Simpson and South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, who all backed the campaign.
Now the EDP is calling on readers to share their experiences of poor mobile reception and to tell us how it has affected their everyday lives.
Norwich South MP Simon Wright said: “I strongly support the need for better mobile communications. It is one of the most common complaints that is registered with me by businesses in the county.
“Businesses need confidence they can connect in rural areas just as well as they can in urban areas and that is not always the case.”
He said that even in the city of Norwich there were not-spots on some operators.
“What I would like to see is more from the mobile operators in terms of transparency.”
He also called for a better mobile phone signal on the train line between Norwich and London.
North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said: “In a rural county like ours it is really important, if we want to compete effectively with other more urban areas, that we get the same access to mobile phone signal as anywhere else. It is achievable, but it needs to be a fast pace to get there.
“Part of it is about planning and making sure the planning system is flexible enough to respond and we have tried to shift the planning system to make it more responsive to economic development. I think the planning reforms should make it easier to get the coverage up to the level we need.”
The fire service has also experienced similar problems when they have to use the mobile network.
Roy Harold, deputy chief fire officer for Norfolk, said: “For our operational function we use the airwave radio system which is separate from the public network and resilient. Having said that, we obviously don’t know how many people don’t call us or can’t call us due to bad coverage.”
Costessey Parish Council has also expressed concerns about a lack of broadband coverage for the Queen’s Hills estate. The council has written to BT about one of the cabinets carrying the broadband service for a new community hall in Poethlyn Drive, but is not due to be connected until 2015.
However, a spokesman for BT said no definite date could be given for the cabinet to be connected and 2015 was to cover for a worst-case scenario.
Have you had similar problems using a mobile phone? If so, call reporter Dominic Bareham on 01603 772326 or email email@example.com.