December 5 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
More of the region’s MPs have added their support to our Let’s Get Connected campaign to improve mobile coverage.
South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon said: “I strongly support the campaign. My epiphany came when I was working for Voluntary Services Overseas in Tanzania, one of the poorest countries in the world, and I was in the north west and the mobile phone reception was absolutely outstanding. I thought if they can do it here, they can do it in Norfolk, and they don’t because they make more money not doing it.
“Ofcom should step up to the plate to make sure the mobile phone companies, who are very profitable and don’t pay much tax, do improve coverage for rural areas.”
Steve Barclay, MP for North East Cambs, said that on a personal level “I have a constant struggle with my mobile reception in Tydd near Wisbech where I live and when I am out and about”.
He said reception in his home village was patchy “and it is the cause of personal frustration”.
Mr Barclay was surprised not to get many complaints about mobile phone reception in the Fens and the issue of broadband was more likely to be raised in his surgeries.
The MP said he wanted to see greater transparency across all tiers of government “so that we can understand why coverage is still poor and some clarity, too, about what is needed to improve it.”
Norwich North MP Chloe Smith said: “I really welcome the paper scrutinising this. It’s not an easy area, technically, to get into, but it’s so worthwhile. Mobile phone coverage is essential to any business, but also for just getting about in daily life.”
Broadland MP Keith Simpson said: “I absolutely support the campaign. I myself am all too often driven to frustration with it. In Reepham, where I live, we get the mobile phone signal intermittently. I find that going upstairs to hang out of the bedroom window generally is one sure way to get a signal.
“For people who are running small businesses it’s a disaster. I just think that today, it’s unacceptable, and for all those reasons I back the campaign.”
South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss said: “A lot of businesses tell me it’s their number one problem in terms of how their business is going to work in the future because a lot of companies in Norfolk are marketing themselves over the internet and they say broadband and mobile phone connectivity is just as important, if not more so, as good road and rail.”