Maria Caulfield MP has welcomed the response from Ofcom to calls by her for more accountability in improving rural mobile phone signal.
Maria Caulfield and the APPG on Rural Business wrote a joint letter to Ofcom stating that there was not enough accountability in obligations of the sale of the new 700 MHz mobile spectrum with operators only being formally held to account at the end of the obligation period in 2024. The APPG and Maria Caulfield MP called for there to be accountability milestones within the 2020-2024 period.
Ofcom have responded stating that they agree that it is of fundamental importance that operators are held to account for obligations that they enter into and that they will consider the points and recommendations made by the APPG on Rural Business. Ofcom also stated that their annual Connected Nations report highlights the performance of operators in rural areas and that they carry out regular site testing to ensure that mobile performance in the field matches predictions made by operators.
Maria Caulfield MP said “Poor mobile phone coverage is a big issue in some of the more rural areas of the Lewes constituency such as Ditchling, East Dean, and various other villages. I am pleased that Ofcom will take into account the views of MPs representing rural areas and will seriously consider improving the accountability of mobile operators during the obligation period of 2020-2024. I will continue to work on the issue of poor mobile signal and broadband connectivity in the constituency as these are now vital commodities in this modern digital age.”