December 8 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 23, 2013
Vodafone signal in parts of north Norfolk was the “worst it has ever been” following a four-day service blackout.
Business owners and residents in the Sheringham, Upper Sheringham, West Beckham and Bodham area lost service on Friday, according to the North Norfolk Labour Party.
The signal was reinstated today after faulty air conditioning caused equipment at the Beacon Hill mast, West Runton, to overheat and stop working.
Sheringham mayor Doug Smith said he was “extremely disappointed” that the Vodafone problems had returned which caused “great inconvenience” for organisers of the 1940s weekend.
A Vodafone spokesman said: “We’re sorry some of our customers in north Norfolk experienced intermittent loss of coverage over recent days.
“The air conditioning in the cabin at our site at Beacon Hill, West Runton, became faulty which caused the site to shut down as the equipment overheated. This had a knock-on effect to a number of other sites in the area as they link into the rest of the network through the West Runton site.”
She added engineers would continue to monitor the five other Vodafone masts in the area to ensure that coverage remained stable.
Sheringham businessman Paul Richmond, who owns Online Web Marketing and a holiday cottage, said today: “I cannot make calls, receive calls or pick up messages. It [the service] is the worst it has ever been.”
There have been problems in Sheringham since October last year when the Vodafone mast on the old fire station was removed for the new Tesco supermarket on Cromer Road. It was replaced further down Cromer Road.
The issue of poor signal was raised at the Labour Party conference in Brighton yesterday.
It was brought up at a lunchtime fringe session when members of the shadow cabinet criticised the government for not having a clearer timetable for bringing improvements to phone signal in Britain.
Denise Burke, Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for North Norfolk, said: “Representatives from the main mobile networks who were present were told that greater access to phone signal should come before the push for faster internet speeds as they all rush to rollout 4G communication.
“The EDP’s Let’s Get Connected campaign has highlighted the importance of having a reliable phone signal here, and I hope that the phone companies are now starting to get the message.”
She added: “Even in areas where there is reportedly a good signal the infrastructure is so outdated that the connections are unreliable.”
The EDP Let’s Get Connected campaign was launched this month and is asking for better mobile phone and broadband coverage in Norfolk and Suffolk.