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County council launch campaign which will collect mobile coverage data across Norfolk

A mobile phone survey is underway in Norfolk and they visit Scottow Enterprise Park where the council and local businesses get to see how the survey is conducted.
Ash Kalhor shows Cllr Tom Garrod around the survey vehicle.
 Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018

A mobile phone survey is underway in Norfolk and they visit Scottow Enterprise Park where the council and local businesses get to see how the survey is conducted. Ash Kalhor shows Cllr Tom Garrod around the survey vehicle. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Archant 2017

A lack of mobile phone coverage may seem like a modern-day inconvenience to many residents in Norfolk, however to business owners across the county it could be the difference between investing or leaving.

A mobile phone survey is underway in Norfolk and they visit Scottow Enterprise Park where the council and local businesses get to see how the survey is conducted.
Sering Harding and Ash Kalhor who drive the survey vehicle.
 Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018A mobile phone survey is underway in Norfolk and they visit Scottow Enterprise Park where the council and local businesses get to see how the survey is conducted. Sering Harding and Ash Kalhor who drive the survey vehicle. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

But a campaign to improve mobile phone coverage across Norfolk has kicked off today, as the digital committee from the county council launched talks with leading businesses at Scottow Enterprise Park.

The county council took their survey van and equipment to the enterprise park to discuss with leading business figures what their mobile coverage experiences were, and how important reliable signals are to them.

John Williams is a business owner based out of Scottow Park. He said: “Signal is especially bad at Scottow Enterprise Park, so much so that I sometimes have to go home and make calls from there.”

The founder of Creative House continued: “I wouldn’t take my business elsewhere because it’s bad all over East Anglia really, it’s a frustration I hear from customers to suppliers to having the problems myself.

A mobile phone survey is underway in Norfolk and they visit Scottow Enterprise Park where the council and local businesses get to see how the survey is conducted.
 Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018A mobile phone survey is underway in Norfolk and they visit Scottow Enterprise Park where the council and local businesses get to see how the survey is conducted. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

“You call the phone providers and they can never tell you the exact cause of the problem- sometimes it’s a problem caused by the weather, or because maintenance is being done on one of the masts but it’s never something you can get to.”

The 52-year-old Norwich resident added: “This campaign definitely needed to happen, we’re falling behind.”

County councillor Tom Garrod is leading the digital committee. He said: “We’re hoping to have the results back by the end of March, at which point they will be shared on our website so residents can see how their signal is, and we can have a deeper understanding of blackspots in Norfolk.”

A survey van from AWTG Ltd will travel all the A and B roads in Norfolk, as well as popular tourist destinations, to gather the data.

A mobile phone survey is underway in Norfolk and they visit Scottow Enterprise Park where the council and local businesses get to see how the survey is conducted.
 Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018A mobile phone survey is underway in Norfolk and they visit Scottow Enterprise Park where the council and local businesses get to see how the survey is conducted. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Mr Garrod added: “We’ve also looked at all the properties the county council owns, and every single one will have a mast put on top of it to improve phone signal.

“This could be a library, a children’s group or a fire station, all 200 or so of them will have a mast put on.”

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