Croxton looking to get back in the 3G fast lane with new Vodafone scheme roll-out

Croxton becomes one of the 100 villages in Norfolk to get a 3G signal via Vodaphone. The signal box

Croxton becomes one of the 100 villages in Norfolk to get a 3G signal via Vodaphone. The signal box is placed on the village hall. Pictured are front l-r: Village Champion Doug Stephen who organised the project in the village, Vodaphone's Patrick Toyn-Sewell and MP Liz Truss, behind are village hall committee and parish councillors. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

A Norfolk village which has been a notorious mobile phone signal 'not-spot' for years is now looking forward to a future of 3G as beneficiaries of a national coverage-boosting scheme.

Croxton residents have long been in the dark when it came to mobile phone coverage, with the village's positioning in a small valley making it impossible to pick up signal.

But they are now hoping their troubles are over after Vodafone introduced its Rural Open Sure Signal (ROSS) programme in the village.

The ROSS scheme has seen two mini-masts installed at either end of the village. The masts use broadband to provide blanket 3G coverage for the area.

A mast at Croxton Village Hall was unveiled on Friday, with parish councillors, Norfolk County Councillor Ian Monson, and Elizabeth Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, on hand to try out the new boosted signal.

Doug Stephen, parish councillor, said he was delighted with the new service.

'Not having signal has been a tremendous pain for everyone in the village,' he said.

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'As soon as you come over that hill from Thetford, you lose all signal.

'Now we are all connected, including farmers out in the fields and anyone who uses the village hall for functions, and it's fantastic,' he said.

Mr Stephen added that a small section in the centre of the village is not covered, but a third mast is set to be installed to cover that area.

Ms Truss said mobile phone coverage was key in rural areas.

'Anyone who drives round, or lives in, Norfolk will know how poor the signal can be and how frustrating that is.

'There are a lot of new businesses opening in our area, and they are starting to benefit from improved broadband, but the mobile phone signal can be lacking.

'I want to see more schemes like this in all our villages in Norfolk, and this is a great start,' she said.

Croxton is the second village in Norfolk to benefit from the scheme, with Reepham unveiling their ROSS masts on the same day.

It is also the 28th in the country to be put on the programme.

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