New scheme to boost rural mobile coverage in Devon

The initiative will help reach rural firms struggling with a poor 4G mobile signal
The initiative will help reach rural firms struggling with a poor 4G mobile signal

Farmers and rural businesses in some of the most remote areas of Devon and Somerset are set to benefit from a new scheme aiming to boost mobile phone coverage.

The new mobile booster scheme is aimed at small businesses and households in rural communities who currently have inadequate coverage.

Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) says it is for those who have access to only one provider and who are currently struggling with connectivity.

The initiative will offer vouchers worth £800 to enable selected premises to purchase a wireless mobile signal booster in order to improve their 4G coverage.

Data from Ofcom states that 23,000 premises across the Devon and Somerset area are 4G “not-spots”, meaning they lack adequate coverage.

The Mobile Booster project aims to upgrade 4G coverage within homes and businesses in order to improve connectivity and the ability to make voice calls.

The programme will focus on small business connections and will target those premises which have no adequate coverage from any operator or only one operator.

Work will begin this month and the aim is to install 1,250 systems by February 2022.

Councillor David Hall, of Somerset County Council said some people in rural parts of the region still struggled for decent coverage.

"This scheme aims to level that up in some of the ‘not spot’ areas. This will have a positive impact on all premises selected for the scheme.”

The scheme will run alongside the current work of CDS to improve broadband connectivity in the hardest to reach areas of Devon and Somerset.