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Joint pledge seeks to improve mobile phone coverage in countryside

Author: FarmingUK Published: 9th August 2018 17:46

 Rural area

Joint pledge seeks to improve mobile phone coverage in countryside

Rural organisations and the government have welcomed a joint pledge to improve mobile phone coverage in the countryside.

The organisations have issued a statement on negotiations linked to the new Electronics Communications Code pledging to work together to improve mobile phone coverage across the countryside.

The reformed Electronic Communications Code (ECC) came into force in December 2017 with the aim of boosting coverage and connectivity across the UK.

Through a package of measures, the Government expects to deliver significant cost reductions to the sector, while ensuring farmers and landowners receive a fair payment for allowing their land to be used.

However, since the new legislation was introduced, there have been problems with negotiations progressing.

"While some initial uncertainty is to be expected, Government, regulators, the telecoms sector, independent infrastructure providers and the landowner community, recognise the importance of all parties working collaboratively together, both during this transition period and moving forwards," the joint statement said.

'World-class fibre'

The Country Land & Business Association (CLA), Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Mobile UK and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport are now coming together to reaffirm the commitments made to each other in Ofcom's Code of Practice.

The organisations want to reiterate their support for the government's ambition to be a leading global economy underpinned by world class full fibre network and 5G infrastructure.

"It is essential that parties engage professionally in open and constructive communications. The future needs of customers and the economy are too important for it to be otherwise," the statement read.

CLA Deputy President, Mark Bridgeman said that improving mobile phone coverage across the countryside has "clear benefits" to rural businesses, consumers and mobile operators.

"It is only by working together that the most meaningful improvements will be delivered," Mr Bridgeman said.
"Ofcom's code of practice should be the blueprint for future negotiations around rental agreements for masts.

The CLA is pleased to endorse this as the best way to achieve agreements which deliver both a fair payment to landowners and improved rural mobile coverage."








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