Government finds 12 parts of Norfolk with no mobile phone emergency signal - but will anything be done about it?

Reepham traders say the poor mobile signal in the town is costing them business. Photo: John Tym Photography Reepham traders say the poor mobile signal in the town is costing them business. Photo: John Tym Photography

Monday, March 10, 2014
10:04 AM

A government programme to improve mobile phone coverage across the country has identified 12 parts of Norfolk where no mobile emergency signal exists.

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The news came as Norfolk County Council revealed that its Better Broadband for Norfolk programme, which also involves the government and BT, was running ahead of schedule.

By the end of December, it had given fibre broadband infrastructure to 22,335 properties - more than 2,500 more than it was contracted to do by this date.

The national Mobile Infrastructure Project, a £150m scheme to provide mobile phone mast infrastructure in ‘not spot’ clusters, had previously identified the A143 between Great Yarmouth and Haverhill as one of 10 trunk roads in the country that needed investment.

Although 12 new clusters of Norfolk ‘not spots’ have been identified, the council said it was not allowed to say where they were because their locations were shared under a non-disclosure agreement.

There was also uncertainty about what, if anything, would be done to bring mobile phone coverage to these areas.

A report to tomorrow’s Environment, Transport and Development Panel said they had been assessed for accessibility, as well as numerous environmental aspects, and a meeting had been due to be held with district planners on February 19.

The results of the meeting are unknown.

Last year, the Norfolk Community Foundation’s Norfolk Strategic Needs Report warned that “a large proportion of Norfolk has no or very small access to broadband”.

Details of the Better Broadband programme were first announced in 2013, following an EDP-backed campaign for improved communications for communities across the county.

In its first phase, it installed six new ‘fibre spines’ totalling 111km, 89 cabinets, and another 40km of fibre to connect the cabinets to the spines.

The second phase, running until June, includes improvements in Downham Market and North Walsham, eight new fibre spines and 94 new fibre cabinets.

■ Are you or your business suffering because of poor mobile phone or broadband coverage? Email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

6 comments

  • One assumes that all NCC can do for areas where there is no emergency mobile phone signal, is to work with BT to provide phone boxes, even if it means subsidising them.Are we naming the not spots here? Filby was patchy last time I tried, may be better now.

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, March 10, 2014

  • "Details of the Better Broadband programme were first announced in 2013, following an EDP-backed campaign for improved communications for communities across the county." IS this the same EDP and Easter Evening News (as it was then) that ran a campaign against mobile phone masts (put masts on hold) about 7-8 years ago despite there being no evidence that masts cause any harm?! Breath-taking hypocrisy!

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    tmresident

    Monday, March 10, 2014

  • On my travels around East Anglia, I carry two mobile phones, on different networks. That normally solves my problems.

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Monday, March 10, 2014

  • Hold on EDP, regarding fibre optic Broadband rollout. You had a big article last year about how a new 23 villages were to get broadband by September, on that list was Bodham and we do not have it still. Any answers?

    Report this comment

    Callum Ringer

    Monday, March 10, 2014

  • Nanny state govt should butt out. It's nothing to do with them. It's a free market decision by the operators if they don't want to put signal there. If there's no signal and people want one they should move to where there is one.

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    marty r

    Monday, March 10, 2014

  • Of course, if the same logic is used as that for funding of coastal defences, then no money will be forthcoming!? The reasonable reality is that all this should be funded - and now!

    Report this comment

    andy

    Monday, March 10, 2014

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